oh yeah one other thing to consider this summer is the Olympics in London. This place is going to be a madhouse and quite expensive so while I highly recommend doing the European tour, be aware of that. And yes the UK is less sun soaked then doing stuff in the Med, but it's a gorgeous country and if you hit things like Scotland and Ireland right (say in May) the weather is better and days longer.
Europe also has mad vacation times. I work with the Belgian and they basically shut down for country wide vacation the last 2 weeks of July. Basically July through August everyone's on vacation.