You have received many supportive posts so far, but I
wanted to add mine to the list. I have taken time off, not
once, but twice. The first time was midway through my B.S.
when I woke up and suddenly realized I hated engineering.
That was a five-year leave with a couple very good jobs in
industry. The second was after my B.S. degrees were
completed. I was in debt up to my butt (non-school related
expenses, I had a scholarship, thank God) and I needed to
work to pay off my car and other stuff before I went back
onto a grad student austerity budget. Surprisingly, my
grad school university allowed me to take a one year
admission deferral, and I used it to work for a technical
writing and auditing firm. The experience was invaluable.
Writing my papers and my dissertation is not near as
daunting as it would have been without the experience.
I started my graduate education at 30 yrs. old, and I am
not the youngest in my class, either.
So, my motivations were certainly less noble than yours,
and I have managed quite nicely, and, incidently was
heavily recruited by both universities and labs, and
managed to net an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Go for
it. The time off is well worth the delay, and as a general
rule, I think people come back calmer and more focused.