Finding an environmentally friendly and budget friendly countertop is way harder than I had anticipated! I was looking forward to trying something new, and had my eye on recycled glass counters. I had seen some pricing, but did not factor in installation and boy, was I blown away when I got my first estimate! Enviroglas, which was my first choice was about 5 times more than granite. Icestone was about three times more than the granite. It is really tempting to just go for fresh quarried stone and toss the "being green" thing out the window. So now I am exploring all kinds of options. We had Richlite in our old house which is a paper and resin countertop. We loved it, and have added it to our list of ideas in addition to it's competitors Paperstone and Ecotop. We are also checking out Squak Mountain Stone which I suspect is quite pricey. The woman who invented it still does all of the manufacturing and helps with installations. I think she is a small shop with high levels of service.
I've also been checking out craigslist, and found some silestone that a couple removed from their kitchen. There is enough there to do two of our bathrooms and still have leftovers, but the hard part is finding someone to pick it up, cut and polish it and bring it back to install it. We are working on that, but it doesn't help with the kitchen.
The very last bits of our kitchen cabinets should arrive tomorrow, and we can finally finish the cabinets. We are just waiting for the floor to arrive. So, I really ought to have this countertop thing nailed down by now...but I think we will be enjoying a plywood counter for quite some time.