The surface layer of laminate flooring can range from paper thin to several millimetres and may be a plastic material or a thin layer of real wood. Some have reasonable wear properties and some do not. Some will always look like cheap plastic-covered laminate.
The cheaper laminate flooring panels may have insufficient variation in their surface patterns leading to annoying repetitions of fake wood grain.
The fixed size of laminate flooring panels and their need to clip together along several edges means there can be high wastage levels. You can't measure your room and buy that area of flooring. Unless you are very lucky with your room size, it is wise to allow 10% - 15% more to allow for wastage.
Edge finishing of laminate flooring can be tricky. You need expansion fillers that then need to be concealed. This may be done by wooden 'scotia' or quadrant trim being fixed around the edges.To me, this solution looks tacky so, instead, I would remove all skirting boards (typical UK construction), then make good the walls, then lay the laminate with expansion spacers, and then replace the skirting boards. That makes it a BIG. potentially expensive job but I really don't like the cheaper, easier methods.
Laminate flooring is a noisy surface to walk on. The noise level can be reduced depending on the type of underlay you use ... and you will need to use one so the cost needs to be factored-in when looking at laminate flooring.
The manufactured substrate of laminate flooring lacks a grain so it will not warp the way an unseasoned wood floor might (who uses unseasoned wood anyway?) but it will still warp and expand if it gets wet. It will never go back to its original shape so the solution is to replace the entire floor area. Some laminate flooring uses a substrate that is more water resistant but it costs more and it is only resistant, not water proof.
The flooring guy I had round to quote refuses to lay laminate flooring in a kitchen because he could not afford the warranty claims for excess wear and water damage.
With laminate flooring, you get what you pay for. For reasonable laminate, expect to pay as much as you would for a good quality carpet but do not expect it to stay looking good for as long as the carpet.
I plan to install laminate flooring in our dining room for reasons of practicality to replace a 20+ year old carpet. It will have a real wood surface layer of 6mm or more in thickness.
Laminate flooring is fine provided you can live with its limitations.