For a classic look, glossy subway tile is a good bet. A hand-made version of the this tile will give you slight undulations on the surface which ad richness and reflect light beautifully. If you want to add a little more vintage appeal, use a light gray grout to give the tiles definition. Subway tiles come standard in a 3x6 dimension, but smaller and larger versions of this tile can take you from traditional to contemporary. Some offer a beveled edge that gives you great depth and a slight glamour appeal. For French Country and vintage Italian kitchens, the crackled glaze version of the subway tile is lovely.
TerraCotta's answer was great. Soapstone goes well with many styles of kitchens and tile. We have used many variations of subway tiles including some beautiful colored glass versions as kitchen backsplashes.
We recently did soapstone counter tops in a unique hacienda style kitchen that you might enjoy seeing. This kitchen is totally different from yours, but you can see how adaptable the soapstone can be in different situations.