Well, the kitchen and bathroom are the two most important rooms in the house, and the ones that you can spend thousands on, to improve it.
Return investment? Depends on your locality and the value of homes around you.
As always, I never look for the "return value", I look to what will make me happy and satisfied with my present living conditions. You cant please everyone else, so please yourself and make do at that. (No one else has my wierd tastes, so I dont even try LOL!).
Also, if your in a neighborhood or State where you have to "leave the appliances", then I would invest in some quality items, (refridgerator, stoves etc), so that they will look upon them with favor.
Just my opinion...