Since I spend about 7 months a year myself hiking in Europe, I found this article very interesting. A few comments:
If you insist on shoes, the choice of Salomon is a good one, since these are widely available in Europe, especially France. I've used Salomon in the past and found them the best shoes for someone with wide front feet. Wide front feet are actually normal. Narrow front feet are not the result of genetic difference, but rather the result of weak muscles due to walking in shoes from early childhood. Same as a pot belly--a pot belly is due to weak muscles, not genetic difference. Personally, I use sandals. I recently had to walk for about an hour in snow with these (about 3 kilometers over the snow banks on Mt Helmos here in Greece). My feet got cold, but there was never any danger. Since reading about Wim Hof (http://www.innerfire.nl/), my whole attitude to cold has changed. By switching to sandals, you totally eliminate the problem of socks and keeping them clean and you are very unlikely to get blisters. You can also just plow right through streams.
I can't believe an Australian would choose a dinky canvas bucket hat versus a stylish Akubra felt hat.
Taslan/supplex pants/shirts are a good choice--same that I use. I wear my supplex shorts for 7 months in Europe and they never let me down, though I slip and fall on my butt often enough. Be sure to double or triple-stitch the seams. The shirt may wear out and become weak due to high altitude UV, so be sure to bring a replacement.
A trekking pole is very useful in Europe for dogs. In France, for example, I was once attacked by a 100 lb pit bull which leaped for my throat without even giving a warning bark. I saw him jumping at me from the corner of my eye, turned quickly, pointed my stick at his open mouth and braced myself for the impact. The stick caught the dog in the teeth and he fell back, shaking his head as if groggy. I hate to think what would have happened without a stick. I have also been attacked by packs of dogs in Spain. Here in Greece, the dogs are even more ferocious. These packs of dogs are designed to drive off brown bears (the European version of the American grizzly, though smaller and less aggressive) and wolves, which still exist in the Pindos mountains. I have already been mobbed twice by packs of sheep dogs in the Peleponesus and these are nothing like the sheep dogs of the Pindos, or so I've been told. I held the dogs off with my stick until the shepherd arrived. These sheep dogs understand the meaning of a stick since the sherherds here don't hesitate the beat the living cr*p out of their dogs whenever they don't obey his orders. They also keep the dogs underfed and generally try to make them as mean and vicious as possible. A sturdy stick is thus highly advisable when wandering in the mountains here.
This is my first year using GPS. I'm finding it surprising useful even with topo maps and good map reading ability. The Garmin Foretex weighs only 70 grams and costs about $120. Even the best mountaineer is liable to get lost without GPS when it is foggy, as it often is in Europe.
Contrary to what you wrote, tightly quilted polarguard, such as the Patagonia Puff pullover, will NOT break down under heavy use. If you get a piece of raw polarguard insulation and pull at it, you will immediately see that the fibers are extremely strong in one direction, as strong as polyester thread in fact, and so all you have to do is prevent the fibers from separating in the other direction by quilting every 2 inches or so. I am not sure if the Cocoon is this tightly quilted. Tight quilting reduce loft some. However, even with this loss of loft, my Patagonia Puffball (same design as the cocoon) is adequate for temperatures well below freezing, and that is after wearing it for several years now under my pack straps .
You don't need so much cold weather gear, especially given that you have a tent. Yes, it can snow in the Alps in the spring, but mostly the weather is mild. The worst situation you are likely to encounter is near-freezing rain with a strong wind. Put on the cocoons and the poncho, press on until you find a decent campsite, then make camp and wait the storm out.
I don't understand this comment about soft alpine soils. Yes, some of the soils are soft, but these are also covered with turf and nail stakes work fine in that, especially if covered with heavy rocks. I've tried many stakes and finally went with 100% Vargo titanium nail stakes, regardless of the minor extra weight (use a PVC t-joint as pusher for situations where no rocks available to pound the stake into the ground). My own experience is that about 50% of my campsites have very hard ground. In particular, I often find myself on the tops of hills where the ground is basically nothing but rock. Any less than a titanium nail stake is unlikely to work in places like this.
I suppose a stove is a personal choice. Personally, I'm quite happy eating uncooked food (biscuits and dried fruit here in Greece) or just fasting between town stops, given that I can eat at restaurants and buy fresh food from the grocery at these frequent town stops.
I think you should spend a lot more effort worrying about the appearance of your hiking clothes as opposed to funtionality. In the wilderness, no one cares what you look like. But when walk into town, it is a wonderful feeling to be able to dump your gear at a hotel or campground, shower up and wash your clothes, then put the clothes back on and let them dry from body heat (20 minutes for Taslan/supplex) and walk around town looking like a normal person rather than some geeky hiker. I would be especially surprised if your wife doesn't feel conspiciously underdressed during town stops. Given that you are making your own pants/smock, it wouldn't be hard to make these such that they are suitable for town use (ditch that silly kangeroo pocket and those elastic cuffs on the pants, in particular).
Instead of the silly kangeroo pocket, I recommend making a simple purse which you hand around your neck while hiking to hold maps, books, compass, etc.
My own experiences with long hikes in Europe are here. I've already changed my opinions about a few of these items on my gear lists, so don't take this as gospel.