Did Brazilian rosewood become the go-to wood for backs and sides because it was used in furniture at the time (due, of course, in part to it's beauty), or because it has outstanding acoustic properties, or because it smells good and bends well? It has to be 'all of the above' of course. I'd hardly call it a paragon of stability!
Actually, Alan / Luthier, you missed the real reason that BRW became the "go to" rosewood. Availability. Brazil was set on clearing land, thus cutting trees, for hundreds of years. They are also the nearest source of rosewood we had. It was cheap, it was available, and oh yeah, it was pretty and stable. Why would anyone seek out rosewood from India, a far-off and little known, exotic location, when we had BRW at every lumber yard?
Before Honduran became "traditional", the go-to mahogany was Cuban. Again, a short 50 mile ride on the water and there it was, on our shores. Readily available, beautiful, stable, and CHEAP.
Red spruce was used by Martin until the mid 40's because it was...... Local, readily available, and CHEAP.
Maple and European spruce was used by the long-dead Italian Masters because it was local, available, and CHEAP.
Of course, all the above also proved worthy of becoming "traditional woods". 100 years ago, more instruments were being produced in the Chicago area than anywhere else, and they also used a lot of woods that were local, available, and CHEAP. But, they differ, and none of these became "traditional" because they failed. Poplar necks warped with time, and those that didn't warp turned green under the varnish. Not all that pleasing to the eye.... The birch backs warped and twisted, so did many of the birch necks. All the while, high quality instruments were being built using prettier woods that proved very stable and strong, and when all was said and done, only cost a dollar or two extra.
Is it any wonder some became traditional, and others failed?
Your example of oak is a perfect example, also. As a buyer, why would anyone buy a guitar that looks like Grandma's kitchen cabinets when it sounds only "as good as" any of the more 'exotic' woods that look way better? Really, you cut --your-- costs by what, $10 or $20 by using oak instead of figured maple, walnut, EIR or mahogany, yet it took you the same amount of time to build the instrument, so you still need to charge the same, or near the same for the final instrument. So, unless oak sounds way better than the rest(thereby gaining an edge, to make up for its lack of beauty), it ain't gonna become one of the "traditional woods". And it didn't, nor isn't, going to. Is it a fine tonewood, stable, strong, available and cheap? Sure! But it still lacks.....
Bottom line is is that traditional woods are just that because they have the most "pluses" and the least "minuses".