Buying any countertop involves consideration of clean-up, maintenance, and durability. Secondhand countertops may have imperfections and stains gained from previous use that are easier to remove from certain materials than others.
Looking at one's current habits and setting a budget are important before purchasing a countertop. Certain materials cost more than others depending on how much is needed. Soapstone, for example, can withstand different temperatures without cracking, but is also considered soft enough that it easily accumulates scratches over time. Once the list is narrowed down, the aesthetic of the countertop in relation to the rest of the environment is a factor as well.