While granite is definitely the countertop of choice right now, stainless steel is also used in many homes. Stainless steel countertops are easy to take care and when added to a contemporary house lends an upscale and industrial feel to the kitchen. The only problem that is stainless steel is very very expensive.
Ikea has created a laminate product that looks a lot like stainless steel for 10% of the price of stainless steel. You will not be disappointed with this product, just call Ikea before to make sure they have in stock as they fly off the shelf.
The product is called Numerar: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00142127
96" x 25" - $96.00
The same size of stainless steel would probably cost around $1,340.