Tricks & Tips:

The various stone, crushed glass and solid material countertops cost considerably more than either laminate or tile. However, they provide for countertops that will outlast the home that they are in. Stone and tile are resistant to heat, allowing you to place hot pans directly on the countertop, without risk of discoloration.
If you have any plans of extending the counter area in your kitchen at a later date, think of how available your counter top material will be at that later date. You may want to buy extra now, to avoid problems finding it later.

Money Savers:
The money saver is to use a lower cost countertop material. Of the lower cost materials, tile is the most durable. However, investing in a more expensive countertop will add to the resale value of your home and the homes desirability should you decide to sell in the future.