Sorry to hear about the job situation. Hopefully it turns into a positive event, such as finding a job you prefer more then the current one - one you may not have realized was out there just waiting for you.
Regarding the track, I do agree with you that 49 feet of track seems a bit short for the amount of table space and floor space in your house that you are dedicating to the track. Not that it would be wrong to do, and especially if you wanted large areas to landscape. I think 60 to 70 feet of track, be it 2 or 4 lane, is probably a decent benchmark for your table area. My Eron 70 track on same size table was ~70, and was a good fit, but not much room for landscaping.
As for most of the time running solo or with the Mrs., I can totally relate. If I remember correctly, there has only been 3 times in the past year that I had more then 2 people racing at same time. I was questioning the reason for having 4 lanes of track. At one point, I took down the Eron set-up, and created a 2 lane track that was ~130 feet. My neighbor and I agreed that this was far better then the 4 lane track. But a few weeks later, I went back to 4 lanes. For one, it was just way too much track on the table. It was too easy to lose track of where your car was at, and what was coming up next.
But the main reason was that, even though 99% of my racing was being done as 1 or 2 people, the one time up to that point when I was actually able to field 4 racers, it was more fun then all the 2 person races combined. Sometime later I was able to have about a dozen people here to race. And I can still remember all the fun we had, while I have pretty much forgotten all the 2 person races.
Granted, my budget wasn't a factor, since I had already purchased everything I needed for a 4 lane set-up. But if the budget had been a factor, and knowing what I know now, I would probably build a semi-permanent 2 lane track, knowing that when finances allowed, I would then convert to the 4 lane.
I didn't want to post a "Dude, you have to go 4 lane" or "Build it, and they will come", because you don't have to, and even if you do, they may not come. But there are some very good reasons to keep a 4-laner in your thoughts, or in your future.
Having said all that
, I really thought the reason you might have been thinking 2 lane was because of the awesome landscaping that can be done on a large 2 lane table, such as Peacefield Raceway. That track is what gave me pause about going 4 lane. But, the landscaping is a big unknown to me, so I made the decision to stick with a 4 lane with room for some landscaping practice, and maybe the 2 lane will be my future track.
As for Orange Raceway, I have been working on it, but not much to show yet for all the work since my last update. I can actually race on it now, which is good, and after a year plus of this hobby, my wife actually raced a car for just the first time this past weekend. She is far from hooked, but I could tell from her "I'm winning!" laughs and her "Noooo" deslots that she was having fun, and has a slightly better understanding of the hobby.
Best wishes to ya!