The preformed laminate countertops at the big box stores use a laminate that is much thinner than regular laminate, meaning it wears out and scratches much easier.
As far as your problem with the selvedge hanging down below the height of the drawers and cabinet doors, (a classic problem usually discovered AFTER the tile has been installed) You avoid this by using (2) 3/4" layers of particle board substrate on your counter deck, screwing them to the cabinets from underneath, so they can be removed later without destroying the cabinets. Be sure to alternate your seams so the countertop is "locked in".
Your selvedge can be a piece of oak or other wood to accent the tile, and this is brad-nailed to the edge of the substrate so the top is flush with the tile. Do this after you set the tile, but before you grout it.
Some things to be aware of with tile: Grout is NOT waterproof. You MUST seal your grout with a silicone grout sealer on a REGULAR basis (every 6 months or better) to prevent water penetration into your substrate.
Any cracks in your grout will allow water to penetrate the particle board, causing it to swell, causing the crack to get bigger, allowing more water to penetrate, causing the board to swell more, causing the crack to get bigger...etc.
But if you are handy with floor tile, you already know this.