Often referred to as "formica" like facial tissue is referred to as "kleenex," high pressure laminate counters have been around for several decades, providing a relatively low-cost surface that remains quite durable and easy to maintain.
There are the typical solid colors, and then there are styles that mimic stone or textile pattterns as well as metallic or wood textures. The surface finishes include smooth matte, textured matte, smooth semi-gloss, textured semi-gloss, and smooth high-gloss. The most popular tend to be the standard smooth matte finish and the textured semi-gloss finish.
The edges of laminate counters have been a notorious issue since their inception, but new products on the market like Gem-Loc Counter Edge or Kuehn Beveled Edge can reduce or eliminate edge chipping, and can add another design element if you select a complimentary color to accent the edge.
All the major brands have their entry-level styles and upper-end styles, but the price difference from low to high is minimal. Whichever you choose, you must use hot pads or trivets for hot dishes, and always use a cutting board to protect the surface and maximize the life of your counter.