Here in "The Middle" of the country granite remains the number 1 choice for kitchen counter tops. There are good reasons granite is the preferred choice.
The cost of granite has come down in price considerably in the past few years. I have seen some entry level granite as low as $30 a sq. ft. installed.
Granite is formed over millions of years from cooled molten lave and rock. It is very hard, and heat resistant. It is so hard it will unlikely scratch, peel or chip. Granite is superior to marble, laminate, or synthetic ones like quartz.
Ideal for rolling out pasta, pie crusts, cookie dough. Great for making warm candy, like fudge, due to its cold surface. Be warned not to use a knife on a granite surface. It will dull the edge and may break the blade. Always use a cutting board for chopping, slicing cutting on granite.
If your granite counter tops are regularly sealed, it makes it easy to maintain. No stains or water marks. Sealing a granite counter top increases the longevity and its beauty !