Unless you are a contractor yourself, do not attempt to be your own general contractor. While you may be a decent handyman, kitchen remodeling is one of the more time-consuming and complicated projects. You can find yourself losing thousands of dollars if done wrong; thus, leave kitchen remodeling to the professionals.
Never hire a contractor that makes you feel uneasy. Horror stores involving contractors running away with your money are common enough, so do what you can to avoid being the next character in those stories. Try asking for recommendations (and who to avoid) from friends you trust or family members in the area. Also, never let a contractor decide for you. You're the one spending, so you get final say, but be sure to make informed decisions as well.
When it comes to kitchens, try not to go with the flow in terms of what is popular at the time of a remodel. The average kitchen remodel should last at least twelve years before having it remodeled again, so going with a current trend can lead to an outdated kitchen within three years.