ASHI-approved inspectors can give an estimate for repairs BUT they're prohibited from offering their services to do those repairs. They are, however, allowed to recommend contractors for the work. DO find out, though, if the inspector has an 'interest' in any of the contractors he presents. If he does, it's a potential conflict-of-interest, and I'd run from him. If the inspector is ASHI-approved AND he's offering his services to do the work, report him. If he's NOT an ASHI-approved inspector and he's offering his services, run then too.
Normally, a contractor won't give an estimate on a home that's under agreement. Since you don't own the home yet, technically, unless he has a cause to be in the home (say, for an inspection), he shouldn't be there poking around. Besides, from his perspective, you may opt NOT to buy the home so why should he spend time w/you if this is a real possibility? He's best off taking his chances trying to get jobs with folks that already own their homes. OF course, there isn't anything that prevents you from doing a 'walk-through' the house with a contractor-type friend to see what they have to say BUT don't use them as your Home Inspector.
Taking the classes is good. The counter tops should be done by a pro. If you need more cabinets, then duplicating them may cost more $$$ then you care to spend (for reasons I won't get into here). Yes, you could refinish / reface your existing cabinets.
One last thing I recommend. Before you do anything, consider living in the house-of-your-choice for a few months so you can get a real feel of how it flows in every-day use. After that, you can start working on how you want the NEW flow to work. You'd be surprised at how different you may feel when a little time goes buy. Besides, you may (for the sake of arguement) decide to build a garage because you miss it more than a new kitchen. My best to ya and hope this helps.