Summing Up Soapstone
OK, I've read approximately one bazillion threads on soapstone and I think I've got a grip on the material. Please correct anything I've got wrong.
Soapstone is not at all porous. This means it doesn't need to be sealed and, in fact, shouldn't be. Sealing can cause problems. It will not stain or etch.
Soapstone is a relatively soft stone, but the various types available to be used for counters can vary in hardness. The softer it is, the more likely it is to scratch or chip.
If you like the variable grey patina, you don't have to treat it at all.
If, like me, you prefer the even very dark grey or black look, it will need to be oiled or waxed. Oil is cheaper, but wax lasts longer.
When people say that soapstone is high maintenance, they're talking about the frequency with which it needs to be waxed or oiled if you want the dark and even look. It will need to be waxed or oiled pretty frequently at the beginning (maybe a couple of times a week for the oil when it's very new), but as it ages, the need for oiling or waxing to preserve the color diminishes substantially in frequency.
People love soapstone for the look and feel. There are granites that will give you a similar look when they're honed, but nothing looks and feels exactly like soapstone.
For no reason I particularly understand, the fingerprint problem that you get with honed black granites, particularly something like Absolute Black, doesn't happen with soapstone.
Different soapstone will be slightly different colors (black, varying shades of grey, sometimes some green) and will vary significantly in the amount of veining.
I assume that the closer you get to solid black, the more every bit of dust and crumb will show, as with any other solid black surface.
I'd add something about price compared to granite or quartz, but it seems to vary significantly with the particular material selected and regional differences. None of these are cheap.
Did I get anything wrong? Did I miss anything crucial?