Cement patios are, in my mind, the most important element to plan for when you are getting ready for your new outdoor living space. They are literally the foundation on which the rest of your dream is build on. I suggest "stamped cement".
Cement will, if done right, last the longest over time and is absolutely the most low maintenance. You will have to reseal it every few years or so (depending on traffic and exposure), but with all the different types of stamps and colors to choose from, you certainly will be able to find a style that fits you.
Words of caution:
Starting with cement isn't a bad idea. Just understand what the future plans are for the patio. You might have to incorporate footers for the structure(s) you plan to build or plumbing or electrical lines submerged into the cement.