When we bought our house our current dining room was actually a pool table room. It had some nasty beige berber carpeting and taupe and tan walls. There also was no actual wall separating the living/family room which is a full step higher, they were using a couch as the divider.
Since moving in, I've had a hard time fighting in many "this space should be a dining room" battles. And I've seen a few pool tables (with covers that could double as a dining room table), some pretty decent options - but they are hella expensive, more expensive than my table - so, for now, I get my dining room.
We added in a half-wall to separate the living/family room space up above from the dining/sunroom space down below. It seemed strange to be adding a wall when everyone is so obsessed with tearing down walls and creating open floor plans, but I wanted the dining room space to have a finished feel. Without the half-wall, we'd be staring at the back of our couch when sitting at the dining room table and I didn't like that idea.
I love our dining room now. What about you?