What is the set up of your appliances? My appliances are piecemeal and we built our house and put them in at the same time. My fridge is jenn-air, microwave is GE, Cooktop and double ovens are Kitchenaid, and dishwasher is Whirlpool. They are all stainless but not right next to each other so you don't see any (slight if any) variations in the differences in metal tone. I swear you can't tell a bit of difference. Can you go a bit lower on the cooktop (we still have a 5 burner gas cooktop- 36") to get the nicer oven/micro that you want? Or lower on the fridge or dishwasher?
Also how about going with laminate countertops vs. granite at this point and replacing the countertops later? Seems like something you can always and fairly easily change at a later date without having to change configuration of the kitchen or cabinets.
M, mommy to A 4/05, E 1/07, and L 12/10