Granite vs. Other Countertop Choices 
Granite is the most durable countertop available. According to scientific theory (the Marble Institute of America), the newest piece of granite on the planet is almost 750 million years old... so old that granite's durability isn't measured in years - it's measured in eons. 
No man-made product can match the natural beauty of real stone - the colors are extremely vivid and the look is very rich. The shine of natural stone is not the result of an applied finish - it comes from polishing with diamond abrasives, and polished granite will keep its high gloss virtually forever.

Although pricing is on the higher end of the countertop market, the durability of granite makes it a more "cost effective" option - in short, it will retain its beauty and hold its value longer than any other countertop.

 Natural Stone vs. Solid Surface 
"Solid Surface" is an industry term for products such as Corian, and both Natural Stone and Solid Surfaces are good choices for countertops based on their own individual characteristics. 
Solid Surfaces are manufactured and will be extremely consistent - they also come in colors that do not exist in nature. Every inch of a Solid Surface is basically the same as every other inch - which may be a benefit to some customers. In addition, the seams are made with "liquid" Solid Surface material which makes them virtually invisible - whereas the seams on a granite countertop are more apparent.

The variations found in Natural Stone's unique veins and markings are part of its beauty and make it a true work of art which no man-made product can match. In addition, granite is much harder than Solid Surface materials - and as stated above, it will retain its beauty and hold its value longer than any other countertop