Making laminate look the best is a lot about the edge detail you choose. Try and select one without a seam (which shows the raw edge of the laminate). Stay away from solid colors which tend to look "plasticy". Textured, matte finishes usually look better than the glossy ones.
The selection of granite vs. laminate is usually about price-point. Granite counters, like most natural products, are less prone to date themselves aesthetically. They also stand up better to heavy use.
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