People who ask for soapstone usually have had or at least seen it before. It has a warm, earthy feel, usually a dark green color and a honed or leathered finish. Soapstone has a unique "bar of soap" feel that is derived from the high talc content of the stone.
Some people are turned off by the prospect of soapstone because "experts" advice on all the maintenance the stone requires. Not true. On new installations a coat of mineral spirits is applied to the tops and usually in three month intervals after that for the first year. Applying the mineral spirits requires only a few minutes and is applied with a clean rag.