Lots of people seem intrigued by the process of DIY installing your own stainless steel counters. And really - it's pretty awesome: we did get stainless steel counters for the ridiculously low price of $400 by doing this ourselves, which saved us $2600, since a big box hardware store quoted us $3000 to get the whole shebang installed.
(Although the whole notion of us saving $2600 is kind of deceiving because that assumes that we actually would have spent $3000 on having stainless steel professionally installed. Most likely we would have just not gone that route if we hadn't been able to do this project ourselves!)
When there is such a big price difference between doing it yourself, and having professionals come in and take care of the whole thing, you really do have to wonder why. Are our counters inferior in any way? Is the steel not as hard, does the counter look like it's "home made"? And the answer to that is NO. Our counter looks as if it would have been professionally installed, it looks… well perfect - gorgeous. It's are made out of 20 gauge stainless steel which is what restaurant kitchens use. Generally a simple backsplash is as thin as 24 gauge (the higher the gauge the thinner the steel.) So why the huge price difference? I really don't know.
Quite a few people also seem curious about the upkeep and the maintenance of counters made out of stainless steel. And that's one reason why these counters are so absolutely awesome. There is no maintenance! Instead we have a super durable counter that we can place hot dishes right from the oven on, we don't have to worry about water spots, wine stains or cracks. We simply don't have to be that careful. Which is why I think this is such a great option, especially if you actually are planning on using your kitchen and not simply look at and admire how pretty it is (which we all know is pretty common when people get expensive kitchen remodels!) Sure the counters do get tiny little scratches over time, but you can get that out with a stainless steel cleaner if you're really that psycho about keeping them spotless. If not, well then the tiny scratches polish the material even further.
I would also like to say that our kitchen was ideal for this type of counter, after all we only had a small counter to work with, and it was straight and simple and had no weird angles or anything that would further complicate installing this yourself. If you had an L shaped counter, I don't know how easy this would be to do yourself, but I think that would be interesting to find out.
Also, if you have a very large kitchen with lots of counter space, then going for stainless steel everywhere could possibly create a rather cold impression - especially if you have no elements of wood anywhere. Our little kitchen cart which we stained a dark red mahogany shade actually balances out the steel and white subway tile beautifully in my opinion, and it really became obvious how very important the addition of wood can be here next to stainless steel. If I had a very large kitchen, then I would probably go for stainless steel anyway, but maybe use butcherblock for some of the counter or for an island, to add some warmth and contrast.
Overall though, if you have a pretty straight forward counter to do, then I don't think you could go wrong here. It's durable, hygenic and practical - why else is it standard in most restaurant kitchens? And design wise, it looks so nice and I can't imagine ever growing tired of it.