I've done mine so everything is in one place. I used a Navpod system pod that provides me with a 20 inch by 13 inch surface.
I'm not 'done' yet, still need to add an autopilot control head, windlass switch and engine ignition.
Does it break the bank, not so much but it depends on the bank. You will understand your wiring, that much I promise.
I started with this:
And here's where I am now.
The gauges aren't fastened in yet in the photo, I had to quit for the day and wanted a picture - that's several months ago.
I also have a 12v plug on the back side, useful for fan's and such.