Carpet vs Laminate and Vinyl vs Ceramic
I am also more a fan of the laminate and tile, but carpet and vinyl will likely be less expensive. Whatever you choose, get several estimates as the cost will likely vary. Simply decide what types of materials you want to use, the more specific the better, measure the square footage of each, put it on a fax, and send it to 5 or 6 contractors in your area. You'll probably be surprised by the difference in cost. Keep in mind floor prep and cleanup and any other activities that might add to the cost.
p.s. installing laminate is really very easy. Maybe you have a friend or relative who could help you. We did our livingroom/diningroom in a weekend and it turned out great