I've been working with my kitchen designer, Rachele, and things are starting to come together. Above is the first draft of the plans - we plan to make some changes but it captures the overall feel of the kitchen. I LOVE the island. I wanted a large "eat-in" island, and we went a few rounds with nothing having the right feel. In the last revision, though, Rachele totally hit it out of the park. I can already picture many casual family meals as well as doing arts and crafts projects with Reese. I think Rachele did a great job on designing something that doesn't completely overwhelm the kitchen while still having the substantial size I wanted.
We're looking at Thermador for the refrigerator and Viking for the cooking appliances. Unfortunately the dealer we're working with isn't able to offer as competitive prices on Subzero and Wolf, but I'm definitely not complaining about "having" to go with Thermador and Viking :-)
I've also decided to go with Merit Cabinets. We're going with the Carriage Black finish on Cherry wood, but we're still trying to decide between the Prairie and Whistler styles. Here's an image of the Carriage Black on Cherry in the Whistler style. It reads black in the picture, but in real life it's more of an espresso/brown tone.