Very long story very short, all the distractions are now gone, and I'm back at it.
First up: the temporary island. It was so temporary it's been there 4 1/2 years! Ouch!
It's three cabinets, with two pieces of 3/4" ply on top. So an inch and a half of counter thickness, covered with formica. 78"x36". Hole cut in the top for the gas range, plus one for the fan. Electrical up through the floor, and gas as well from the floor, with a six inch hole through the floor and out the basement wall to vent the fan. The top is just sitting on the cabinets, which are not well tied together (face frames aren't even screwed together). Did I mention it was temporary?
The new one will be two (new) pieces of 3/4" ply, plus 1/2" of cement board. Topped with the blue talavera tile we used on the counter, trimmed with curly maple to match the counter. new size is 40"x90". One cabinet will be shifted over (from the refrigerator side to the entry side), but the main cabinet (where the stove is) will stay in the same place.
Here are some pics of the existing island.