I don't think using plans is cheating at all, in fact with the cost of materials these days who can afford to do something wrong and start over.
It's really about how comfortable a person is and their level of skill. I've built things just from photos but still had to do a lot of layout work and drawing etc..That in itself is not easy.
Try looking at Rockler or Wood magazine I know they have plans, maybe not exactly what you are looking for though. Either way, good luck! I hope you find what you're looking for.
Also don't forget to post pictures when all is said and done. :thumbsup: