For the practical person, a budget for a new kitchen is a must. As you research what you want and how much it will cost you'll find you can go cheap or expensive and all the way in between. If you're planning on keeping your home for any length of time or selling is within a couple of years that should enter into the equation as well.
Cheap will never help sell your home, and expensive may have the same results. A happy medium may work and one where the basics will win in the long run. So consider what you like, and then look around at model homes, magazines and see what is popular today. A black kitchen with black appliances may appeal to you, but a buyer may not like it at all. The same goes for any off the wall colors, so keep the colors simple and let your new kitchen do the selling.
As you set up your budget realize that many things help to take the costs higher than you budgeted. For instance check out the kitchen faucets. The cheap ones offer no modern features so set them aside and go for quality rather than unusual. The type of wood you choose will figure greatly in the end results.
Real solid wood is rarely used in kitchens today. Many companies use veneers that look and feel solid. If they do the job properly, you can hardly tell the difference, and with a little care the cupboards will last for many years.
Sinks are another area where cheap doesn't work and quality can be both reasonable and workable without the high cost. The difference in the price range varies wildly but you'll want something that will last and keep its luster.
There are wide gaps in the price of door handles and there again go for quality not price. You won't want to replace them anytime soon. Some cabinets have finger pulls, so you don't even need the handles.
Countertops in the mid price range can be beautiful, and you don't really need marble do you? Many do, and that will be your greatest budget crasher. Just remember you get what you pay for so choose accordingly.
The contractor you choose to do the job will be another factor. Ask for more than one quote, and ask to see their references. Make sure they are licensed, insured and bonded. They should have a place of business and not work out of their garage. Never pay a contractor in full, but pay a reasonable down payment with payments during the job and the final when you are satisfied with their work.