I and my wife both spend a lot of time doing both downhill and single-track MTB in New England. We both are still on our stock organic pads, and are looking to replace our pads soon-ish. I, especially, suck hardcore and tend to spend a bit of time on my brakes going down the 5 mile long green downhills. I notice significant fade by the end of the run, and the pads are quite worn down after only a few trips. The wife is looking for more aggressive pads, mostly.
It would appear that for a single use bike, the answers are more or less self evident - sintered for downhill, semi-metallics for single-track.
However, which pad is best for a mixed use bike? Is it better to go for the more rotor-chewing sintered pads, or the more balanced semi-metallics? I am leaning towards the more aggressive pads - rotors and pads are cheap, but injuries aren't. I'd rather cause excessive wear on ST versus having poor performance on downhill, where I have a knack for getting injured. (Some day my elbow will be enough scar tissue that eating it doesn't result in any new lost skin /s)