Granite countertops are far and away the highest quality natural stone countertop. They are highly durable and sanitary. Not to mention - gorgeous!
Granite comes in a huge variety of colors and natural patterns. If you're set on a certain look, you may need to visit several granite suppliers to find your perfect piece. Some people really like to shop around and wait for a piece to "speak to them."
I love the fact that it's nearly indestructible. You could slice veggies right on your granite without harming it. (Please avoid doing this, as it will quickly dull your knives.)
The slight downside to granite is that it does require maintenance. Granite is a porous material that needs to be sealed to prevent staining, which has given it a bad name for some. The sealing is a simple wipe on - wipe off product. The trick is remembering to do it!
Granite vs. Quartz
Granite and quartz products (Cambria, Silestone, Zodiaq) are very similar. Both maintain a shine and are nearly indestructible. Generally, the cost is quite comparable as well.
The quartz products will not have the striking veins of color running through them. Granite will have visible seams, where quartz seams are nearly invisible.
Also granite does require sealing to keep it from staining. Granite sealing is inexpensive and quick, but you must remember to do it.
If you've narrowed it down to granite or quartz, you're choosing between the top two countertop products available. You can't go wrong with either one!