Thanks Darren, I appreciate your response.
I just want to say that having the shelf right above my bench is proving to be the greatest boon of this new arrangement. I have always fought having tools in the way on my bench. I am now able to keep it clear and yet potentially have the tool I need right there within reach. I now believe if I did not have the bench up against the wall within reach of a shelf, I would put in a tool tray.
As for bench against the wall, in my shop I am liking the arrangement. I have worked mostly out in the open but this new arrangement is working out well for me. I like knowing tools are not going to get knocked off the back as I move things around. I can still pull the bench away if I need access to the back for some reason. I realize that in a shop like Stu's, because it is so small, having access around the entire bench may be more important.