Tom Surface prep is the key! Sand the old surface with some medium/course sandpaper, being sure to hit EVERYWHERE. Also, be willing to remove the sink (you'll want the new surface UNDERNEATH the sink). As for the stainless steel edge... I seem to remember that these are a simple sheet metal cap, held in place with small finish nails. Why not remove these, and either put a laminate band on the front surface, or use a wood material for a real custom look? Don't know about your skill level, but the idea of PRE-cutting a laminate (Formica) is not something I'd like to tackle. I'd spend a little time at the library, as there's TONS of books on the subject of applying laminate. This link is also really good, and goes step-by-step through the process: http://homearts.com/pm/sweatequ/12counf1.htm
You might want to purchase/rent a router, and get a laminate trimming bit. For this type of work, you don't need a big expensive router, and can usually pick-up a simple 1/4" model for around $30. The bit is about $10, for a carbide-tipped, 2-bladed, roller-bearing, bit. Be sure to practice a little before you do the actual work.
Here's a couple other links that might be helpful: http://www.hgtv.com/village/villages/buildmore/shows/tfx/tfx_febcounter.html http://www.kitchen-bath.com/drglue.htm http://www.kitchen-bath.com/drlamin.htm http://www.kxly.com/terrystoolbox/projects/countertop_repair.htm http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/inf/infcou.shtm