The choice between hardwood flooring and laminate seems like a simple choice between a costly and less-costly option. However, after consideration, the choice is not so simple. While laminate is certainly the more cost-effective option, consider these factors:
If you have very high traffic or the possibility of damage due to pets or children, or the location is in well used area, laminate is going to be more durable because the finish is factory applied. That said with proper maintenance you can maintain the look and feel of your hardwood installation, but this maintenance is going to cost you more than laminate by a large margin.
If the aesthetic you demand includes the most real look then no laminate is ever going to truly match a quality hardwood floor.