So, well, the kitchen counter is off. It's been delivered to our friend who has ordered the new sink (from a buddy who is a plumber and can get a trade discount) and the Formica (ditto on the discount I hope!). Turned out that there were some reason to use a new undersurface for the countertop rather than just re-doing the Formica on top of the old plywood, so that's the current plan.
The kitchen looks...naked. !
(oh, the odd icky picture up there? It's the inside of the kitchen sink drain pipe. Serious gunk builds up in there! It'll be replaced with new, possibly PVC.)