Ma'am, step away from the Can Lights

Well, we closed on our home last week.  We're officially homeowners in the state of Virginia!  My brain has been hyperventilating over potential projects I hope to tackle, and as I alluded to in this post, the kitchen is one of them.
BTW, my alter-inner voice is all, "Whoa, there, Tonto.  Let's PACE ourselves."
The not-so-inner voice of Ben is all, "Whoa, there, Tonto, let's figure out what this is gonna COST."
Realities are sometimes the shitter, aren't they? I've been tucking away little morsels of inspiration, and focusing on all things from cabinet finishes to lighting options (we'll need some), I've noted a trend toward alternatives to recessed (i.e. "can" lighting) in kitchens.

As my astute colleague, Bailey pointed out recently, designer Katie Ridder is apparently a fan of eschewing can lights for a more interesting option.  I concur.

 Trying to figure exactly what those fixtures are.  I'm sure I'm wrong, but they almost appear to be ceiling medallions with a silver-dipped bulb through them.
Something like these....but more fancy.
Another spying:  Designer Eric Cohler used something similar in a sun porch at the Traditional Home Showhouse in North Carolina.  (Say that sentence five times, fast!)
Ya sense a pattern, here???

via great bones, good pieces
Ya dig 'em?  HERE ya go.
You're welcome.

So, I did a little super-sleuthing, and found several interesting alternatives to can lights in action.
This kitchen is going for a relaxed, retro vibe.  The schoolhouse-style fixtures work to that advantage.
Traditional Kitchen by Peachtree City Architect Historical Concepts

 A slightly sleeker style in this traditional kitchen.  I think it's worth noting that the semi-flush mount fixtures are used alone.  The kitchen has a lot of natural light, but I wonder if they're sufficient at night.
Traditional Kitchen by Minneapolis Architect Meriwether Inc

Hicks pendants are nearly ubiquitous these days, but you see them used more often as accessory lights.  Here, used alone.  I like the solitary statement.
Contemporary Kitchen by San Francisco Interior Designer Angela Free Design

 This kitchen really makes the point: it's about mixing it up.  Focusing on tasks and choosing fixtures appropriately.  It's not to say recessed lights can't serve that purpose, but that there's other, maybe more interesting ways to accomplish the goal.

Finally, this is a situation where I'd have to say the designer went a wee bit overboard with these ginormo industrial-style lights.  Is it a kitchen, or a tanning bed?  They could've tucked in a couple of recessed lights, and still had a strong impact with the pendants.  Just me. 
Traditional Kitchen by New York Interior Designer Michelle Everett Interior Design

 So, what's the consensus?  Are we still can light cheerleaders, or are we ready to step away? Designer friends:  Have you done kitchen installations without using recessed lights?  Do flushmounts or other decoratives offer as much light?  Spill it!