If building something custom isn't a problem, I'd try a big flat table with a 3-4" lip around the edges. Then a molding around the top edge of the lip that overhangs into the box by a ways, with a LED rope light running all the way around under the lip. My thinking is that the 360º lighting would make for a well-lit work area without having to fight with shadows, while the lip would keep the light from hitting your eyes directly. As a bonus, the lip would keep you from having to chase runaway round bits!
I'd probably line the interior with felt or something similar, 'cause a) I hate trying to pick flat pieces up off a hard smooth surface with my fat fingers
, and b) it'd kill any glare off the surface from the rope lights.
Man, now I wanna go build one for myself. Anyone got a table saw I can borrow?