I have an Electrolux slide-in induction range. To answer some of your questions...
---Induction uses a glass or ceramic top, so yes it can be scratched and you can't drop cast iron on it. You can lift a pan up and flip food around and put the pan back down...if you're reasonably quick, you won't lose the heat in the pan.
---Elu'x, Frigidaire, and Kenmore make slide-in induction ranges. Price runs $2000-$3000. Freestanding ranges are also available, but not cheaper unless you go with a hybrid induction and conventional electric cooktop, which seems silly to me. Viking makes a Cadillac for around $6K. If you really want to spend money, you can sell your first-born and import some European brand.
---It sounds like part of your problem is that your current stove is poorly designed without good markings for the burners. All the induction ranges I've seen have clear markings, which is important because you have to fit the pot to the burner size. There is some leeway, but you can't put a 5" saucepan on a burner that's marked for 6-10" pans, because there's a sensor that won't allow the magnets to work if a pan isn't sensed. So when you look at ranges, make sure the burner configuration meets your usage requirements.
---Because heat is produced in the pan, and not in the stovetop, the ceramic will only get as hot as the heat conducted back from the pan's bottom. I've taken a really hot pan off and touched the stovetop, and while I can't hold my finger there, I haven't burned myself either. Much safer than touching a hot grate or the ceramic over an electric coil. Induction marketing people tout its safety around kids and the elderly.
I've previously had both gas and a ceramic top electric range, which I was happy with. However, I'm even happier with induction. It is so much faster than conventional electric (or gas) and is so much more responsive that it's a whole different beast. Think of it like the difference between using electricity to power a fan vs an air conditioner. No comparison. I think if you liked gas, you'll be happy with induction. Food won't burn onto the cooktop, so it's easier clean, although that black glass can require a lot of Windex.
The biggest cookware-related issue that I've faced is that none of my roasting pans will work on the induction top, so I can't sear anything before putting it in the oven, or use the pan to make gravy afterwards. I'm sure someone makes a $$$$ induction-compatible roasting pan though.
ETA: Woks and griddles can also be problematic. Some ranges come with bridge elements, meaning that you can place a griddle across 2 burners.
OTOH, I can't recommend my E'lux range. The induction is great, but the ovens are terrible. Four service visits in 3 months to replace the control panel and both oven temperature sensors, and the lower oven still doesn't heat consistently. I know others with this range love it, so I guess I got a lemon.
The Appliance forum on the GardenWeb site has a lot of threads about induction ranges, if you search at the bottom of the page there. http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/appl/