I prefer flat pedals, as I like the flow that occurs between you and the bike. It is a symbiotic relationship, that forces you to be one with the bike and not overly control it by being clipped in. I watch some of my friends clipped do moves that you can't do with flats. I am envious at times, but I feel my riding is better with flats.
I tend to use 5.10 sam hills, and they are bit more comfortable from the start. Unlike the moon boats of the normal 5.10s. Many times, I break the shoes in before riding as i don't like the overly stiff initially feeling.
I feel most pedals are too grippy these days. I have the T-MACs, when the focus is downhill. For general riding, I prefer more foot movement. Even the T-MACs for DHing are too much at times.
I am overly picky when it comes to pedals. I thought original Point Ones were perfect, the newer ones were too grippy. RF pedals are pretty good though expensive and expensive for how quickly the bearings need replacing. I like the original Tenet pedals and the new ones are too similar to the T-MACs. I find some of the plastic pedals provide the right balance of grip. Some overly grippy pedals, I have gone and purchased small washers to reduce the claw length.