Think durability first, and affordability second. If you take care of the former, the latter takes care of itself with a long life and lower maintenance.
Gravel is the cheapest alternative, and it can be installed by the homeowner. Mid-priced options are asphalt and concrete. At the high end of the cost spectrum are pavers and cobblestones. Cobblestones last far longer than any other common driveway material, up to a century, and are the easiest to repair when pavers crack or split. There’s no sealing to worry about, the classy look helps resale value, and it grants your home outstanding curb appeal. Sure, you’ll pay more upfront, but with that staggering life span, it ends up being a lot more affordable in the long run.