More thoughts...visit every distillery you have time for. They're all different and all interesting. I would rank Bruichladdich as the one absolute must, then the three Kildaltons (Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg); Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain, and Jura are each interesting in their own way. Jura is fun just for the trip (the tour is good too, with lots of good samples--in fact, Jura and Bunny are the least interesting whiskies here in my mind, but both give great tours). Bowmore used to give a really good tour, but I understand it's become pretty commercial.
If you don't stay at the Abbottsford, Port Charlotte is still a good base, unless you really want to stay in Bowmore. The Loch Indaal Hotel in PC has inexpensive rooms and a townie bar (Port Charlotte Hotel is a much nicer bar, very expensive hotel--both have real ale). Bowmore has several good pubs and restaurants.
Other things you should see or do: The Kildalton Cross, out the road past Ardbeg, is #1. Take a drive out the shore of Loch Gruinart to see migrating geese and the Kilnave chapel and cross. Go out on the Oa (Oh!) and take a walk out to the American Monument (on a clear day you can see Ireland), or down to the beach if you have time. Visit Finlaggan, the ruined seat of the Lords of the Isles. See the picturesque village of Portnahaven, and have a pint in the charmingly rustic pub there. Visit the Islay Ales Brewery, which has been open for just a year now.
The tourist info center in Bowmore can give you lots of info, including phone numbers for all the distilleries. You can see all eight in three days if you are motivated to do so. Be sure to call and make reservations for tours as soon as you can.
Here's my Laphroaig story....I had a one-on-one tour at 10:00am (it was October). At the end of the tour, they take you into the hospitality room for a dram. But Iain Henderson, the legendary distillery manager, then in his last weeks at Laphroaig, was conducting some business there. So the guide took me into Henderson's office, where I sat enjoying a 15 in his big leather chair at 11:00. I was savoring it, trying to make the moment last, when I suddenly realized that I had to rush off to catch the tour at Ardbeg. Down the hatch!