After finally getting a visa to the UK, I am back and ready to get down to work on the layout. I ended up going with a modified version of the layout plan. The point-to-point was just too much vertical work for a novice like me. So we have a loop and an elevated mainline connection. I've tried as much as possible to break up the oval shape of the loop, and I think it looks quite dynamic for the space I can work with.
Hardboard base is nailed down, total size is about 4' by 3'.