There are some debates that have raged since the dawn of time: evolution vs. creation, great taste vs. less filling, red vs. blue, and of course there is always the great mouse pad debate to consider. Of course in this day and age everything gets a fancy new name, so the debate has actually changed from one of to 'mouse pad' or not to one of 'mousing surfaces'.
If you've ever wondered why people might argue about mouse pads/mousing surfaces, or even us them in an era of optical mice, here's a snipped from Extreme Tech's article:
"Would you pay $20, $40, or more for a mouse pad?
Well, people do. Along with the advent of gaming mice comes the
"professional mousing surface." Baked with all kinds of technologies,
such as aluminum composition or 7/100 of 1" thick, the professional
mousing surfaces available for anywhere from $10 to the stratosphere
all claim to make your performance soar in competitive gaming. Some
also make promises of superior ergonomics, but the key in most cases is
that, with this mousing surface, you'll transform from a target to a
threat the next time you wade into a multiplayer first-person shooter."
Unless you're REALLY into mouse surfaces we'll cut right to the chase:
mouse surfaces don't exactly have a benchmark other than 'feel' which
is totally subjective. It'll probably end up boiling down to a
basketball shoe analogy; If you're a clumsy, slow, and short person
then those expensive sneakers aren't going to turn you into the next
Michael Jordan. But if you've already got the gaming "skillz" then
this might help you a tiny bit.