Have you heard that granite is no longer a viable counter-top option? Well it's not true. There are many more choices now than ever before but that does not mean that granite is "out" or ever going out for that matter. Granite is still used primarily over quartz products due to the beauty and affordability but engineered quartz does bring strength and a distinct look as well.
There are pros and cons to all materials but let's look at the main two that are being used:
Granite is a natural product from the earth. It's been cooking up for a few million years. It's beautiful and strong but does need to be sealed and can have fissures that occur from the "movement" in the stone. Those that are looking for a real statement may tend to like granite more because of the rivers and flows in the stone.
Quartz based products are about 97% real quartz, very strong and do not require regular sealing. There are some stunning options for colors but they can tend to get very expensive very fast. Quartz products are typically better for those that are very rough on their counter-tops or people who prefer less "crazy" that might be found in granite.
We like to use a sealer called Drytreat (www.drytreat.com) on granites and marbles. This is a 15 year sealer which levels the playing field for granite. All counters can stain but with the sealing taken out of the equation, granite becomes a better contender against quartz products.
While they both have their strengths and weaknesses it comes down to the look that you are going after. Personally, I like the "crazy" that natural stone offers but also like playing a natural stone off of a engineered stone for an awesome contrast.