Choosing the right contractor is everything. Ours was wonderful and made the process and easy and seamless as possible, and made suggestions that make our day-to-day life easier.
For instance, we were originally going to put our dishwasher where our old sink was, against the wall in the middle of the kitchen. Our contractor suggested it moving it to the peninsula, so that we could have two distinct sections in the kitchen - one for prep/cooking, one for washing/drying. Now we can have two or three people working at once, without getting in each others' way.
My favorite meal to cook in my kitchen::
Everything! One of my wife's and my traditions is that every New Year's Eve we cook a restaurant-style 4 or 5 course tasting menu, rather than go out to a restaurant. We pick new recipes to try, and splurge on ingredients. This year included braised rabbit and a scallop dish with caviar sauce, among others.
In prior years, the dinner has been a huge undertaking, with one full day of cooking and a second full day of laborious cleaning. In the new kitchen, we were able to cook in a fraction of the time with less mess and able to enjoy our food more.