The choices for kitchen and bath-room countertops are extensive. Granite, which has been around for 30+ years is extremely durable and impervious to heat and cold. However, granite--like any natural stone--requires a sealer and periodic reapplication.
Other natural stones, such as marble and soapstone, have a luxurious look, but are quite porous and require routine maintenance also. Manufactured quartz stone, which used to be limited in selection, is now offered in many different colors and designs. Quartz can be visually indistinguishable from natural stone, have the same durability and require no maintenance. Concrete, although still not a mainstream choice, is great for a more rugged or industrial look. It can be tinted and polished, or left a natural color. It also needs to be sealed.
My current favorite is wood tops featuring marine finishes. Made of mahogany, walnut, and other hardwoods, these countertops do not have the durability of stone, but they make up for that shortcoming with a friendly, warm touch. Don’t forget about good old plastic laminate either!