Hi All,
I will repress my male ego and admit that after weeks of refusal, I let my wife and daughter drag me to Ikea. I had planned on Lowes or Home Depot for cabinets and counter tops, Ikea! It's just not MANLY. Well, I left Ikea after placing orders for cabinets and their hardwood "butcher block" counter tops. Cost was less than just the cabinets from Lowes or Home Depot. The cabinets are, IMO, better quality than the Lowes/Home Depot cabinets. The counter tops are dead simple to install. Three costs of matte polyurethane and they are pretty and indestructible.

The advantage of the Ikea counter tops is I can trash them pretty badly, strip, sand and recoat and they will continue to look like new. The tops come in kitchen countertop width and island top width, so my sink area countertops are nearly 36" deep - very handy. You WILL appreciate the more "Manly", (Gotta cover myself here, I still shudder at the whole Ikea thing!!) , real estate that the extra depth provides.

Check out Ikea. But unlike me, you don't have to tell anyone!!

Cheers,
Geary