As this seems to be the trend now, I know some of you will have experience. Initially, we thought of going through Home Depot. The granite we like (by looking at a sample) is on sale and you get a free sink. We haven't looked at Lowe's, but we would consider there, also. After a little online research, I'm wondering if we should go with a smaller company that specializes in granite countertops. Of course, installers for countertops will be different all over the country, but I'm thinking more about the quality of the granite. The salespeople at Home Depot don't have a lot more knowledge than I do just by reading some brochures. Some sites suggest that a consumer should be worried about polishing swirl marks? Anyone use HD or Lowes and have this problem. I have also read that kitchens should use 3" granite. Home Deopt rep didn't tell us the thickness and I never thought to ask -- this is the sort of thing that concerns me...what don't I know that I may regret later? Ideas about who has the better deals the box stores or a smaller specialty company? I know about the costs for cut outs, edging and old counter removal. Any other costs come to mind that may be hidden? TIA for any advice.