In the stack beside different weights were also different manufacturer's papers and texture. Many were from workshops that I've attended and were the favorites of the artist/instructors.
As I used some of the Fabriano Artistico, bright white, from the stack, I found it to be really not something that worked well for me. The surface seemed to suck the paint up and make the whole painting much softer edged than I would like.
So, on the surface, I could say, this is an awful paper! No one should use it!
But this is where individual artists' preferences come in. What won't work for me may very well work for you. In other words, I guess this is why we have so many different types and manufacturers of materials.
In this month's Watercolor Artist is a very good example. Laurie Goldstein-Warren warrenwatercolors.com) uses Fabriano Artisco for a still life with glass. The overall effect is soft edges and the paper is perfect for her work.
Lynn Ferris (lynnferris.com) uses Arches to paint strong shadows and hard edged values. Her work would be completely different were she to use Fabriano.
The moral is: in the hands of the artist the materials either enhance your vision or fight that vision. Your experimentations will help you find out what works best for you.
Just a word about brushes: Its usually said that the better the brushes you buy for watercolor, the easier your painting will become. And it does hold in some cases. But you can happily find some where this isn't true. I happened to come across some round brushes at an art store sale that were for sale under $10. They hold water and color beautifully and hold the point when wet. I thought I could always use them for masking if nothing else. But they're terrific. The brand is Princeton and the type is Snap. A very good buy!