I just finished building the English bench out of Chris Schwarz's book. I followed pretty closely to his version with only minor changes. Instead of the square dog holes, I used 3/4" holes throughout. It was easier to make that way and it gives me more options for hold downs and wonder dogs.
I have been thrilled with it so far. It does not budge unless you really want it to, even though it probably weighs less than 200 lbs. Just the real estate on the top is worth it. It is more than double my old bench, so I can really spread out. Now I just need to get over my worry about damaging the top and have a little fun.
This is a great bench to build for somewone with only limited tools. I built it with an old contractors saw, an older craftsman 6" jointer, and even older craftsman 6" planer, and a benchtop drill press. I did truck the aprons and top over to a friends house to use his 20" planer, but it is definately possible without major tools.