Soapstone was in heavy use in the US until about 25 years ago. The most prized was Vermont Soapstone. Kitchens were not intended to be showplaces in those days and it was used because it worked well, wore like iron, was local, and inexpensive, but not pretty. Most of it was used in industrial or public applications, laboratory bench tops, and the like.
Vermont ran out of soapstone about two decades ago. Dealers will still sell you stuff that's even labeled as "Vermont," but no such thing is extant. You can buy Vermont soapstone form Vermont "quarries" and they are getting it from the same place as everyone else around the globe gets soapstone these days----Brazil. That is where most natural countertop stones come from. Now THERE's a carbon footprint for you, as they are shipped in 1.25" thick slabs that are, on overage, 8 x 10!'
I had clients who had one made for their mudroom sink/short run counter in their NH "country house." They still are happy with their choice almost a decade later. Plus, it really looks great with the architecture of the house.
Aside from the super retro look (turn of the 19th/20th C's),
I see no reason to use it over any other choice.
Edit: Forgot! Before you buy any natural stone for countertops, be sure to check out its radon emission quotient, if at all possible. Almost all emit some. Some stone countertops give off more than should be in your house.
Edited by BobKay (06/10/14 05:37 PM)
"Ya rolls the dice and ya takes yer chanskes."