We install a lot of countertops for clients, specializing in Corian. Clients who are remodeling their kitchens always have a budget and in assisting with the design and then performing the installation, we provide options and make suggestions.
There are always give and takes to doing a kitchen remodel and keeping within the budget; one can go for the higher end cabinets and a less expensive countertop, for instance.
There is a very informative article on selecting kitchen countertop material from houzingzone.com. Check out the article before making a decision. Cost, quality, maintenance needs and ease of installation are all factors that should be considered, along with appearance, of course!