Stains - waterbased vs oil based vs gel
What are the main differences in terms of use case and advantage / disadvantages between the 3?  Any good resource links?
I'll offer a good resource, but it's not a link. Flexner's book has 2 chapters on stains and staining (actually, the second one is about "coloring"). It's a very good book with quite a bit of info.  The 3rd edition was just recently released.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
My assessment of water based stain is probably unfair. I tried using it once and found that it dried so fast that it was hard to spread and I could not blend it. My results were horrible and I never used it again. I don't know if the problem was with the individual can, the brand, or the fact that it was water based. Oil based is easy to work with. It blends well but, in the end, the results are what they are. It's hard to make lighter or darker by using more or less or wiping more or less. I like gel stain because it is easy to blend and you can make it darker or lighter by using more or less or wiping it more or less (within limits). Gel stain is somewhat less prone to blotchyness. For recent projects I have used Transtint dye. This can be dissolved in either alcohol or water. For me, I find that the alcohol evaporates too rapidly and I find it more difficult to get even coloring. Dissolving it in water, I find that I can spread it around more evenly and it has more time to soak in and provide a darker color. The water does raise the grain more than the alcohol but I don't worry about that. I usually just apply a coat of shellac and then lightly sand off the raised grain.

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