OK, so I received the final version of the soundtrack from Aaron over at Walz Music. All I can say is that I'm blown away. It exceeded all expectations. The 8-bitness of it is incredible, and the composition itself is bang on what I wanted for my game. I highly recommend Walz Music for anyone out there looking to have music created for your game.
While Aaron was working on that, I hung up my programmer's boots for awhile to do the art for the game. Still working on it, but I'm getting close - I have only 2 levels' artwork left (along with some small animated background elements) and I still have to do most of the enemies. I've got the main characters and their walk cycles complete as well as the title screen, story screen, etc.
It's coming along very nicely! Will update again when I'm ready to jump back into programming (isn't it fun working alone?) and maybe post up some samples of the art. If I'm feeling friendly ;)