There are infinite ways to build or arrange cabinets and they can easily be overwhelming. I’d shorten the list of consideration to three options:
1) IKEA – Approximately $200 per foot installed
2) cliqstudios.com – Approximately $250 per foot installed
3) Custom – Approximately $500-$1,000 per foot installed
I’ll get right to my conclusion: IKEA is fine but Cliqstudios is significantly better quality for an almost identical price. Custom is the best, there’s no doubt about that but you pay for that.
If you live near IKEA you can drop by, use their cabinet design program to layout your kitchen and walk out in under an hour with a price for your entire kitchen. Assembly is usually double the cabinet price and they’ll offer you that. They sell “flat pack” cabinets that have to be assembled and installed. flat pack cabinets are lower quality than cabinets that are assembled in the factor
CliqStudios is a web only manufacturer that builds fully assembled cabinets. You can price out your entire kitchen online and call their customer support to work with them too.
Custom is all about finding local custom supplier. Archtitects and interior designers often have a good referral. You’ll be amazed at how impressive plywood has become. You ca get cabinets with a veneer of the most exotic woods that exist. Plan on six months lead time if you want to go custom.