Thank you for all your replies, and I'd like to apologise for my sarcastic reply to darkosaric. It looks rather ruder now than I intended when I wrote it, regrettably. I'm sorry.

If I may try to qualify my question a bit - I'm not interested in which films are objectively and measurably better than other films, I know that such a question is mostly meaningless. These quotes touch upon the question I'm trying to ask:

Quote Originally Posted by dorff View Post
Black and white films are picked for their character as much as, if not more than, their absolute quality, I think.
Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
[...] FP4 consistently makes better prints for me. As much as I try to understand why, it eludes me. In the end it doesn't matter why, it just "is" for me.
Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
i have made my tmx look like tri x, and provia look like an autochrome, just by the way i exposed the film.
What I'm interested in is the character, or "feeling", of films. I don't have any specific scene in mind and I'm not searching for a suitable film for a purpose, I want to see what this elusive "character" is simply out of curiosity. If different films have different character, there must be a difference, if subtle, in the final image. Is it the spectral sensitivity? Contrast? Latitude? I can read about differences and kind of understand descriptions of a film's properties, but it's so much easier to understand with two pictures side by side.

Of course many other things can change the final result, which is why I was trying to say "don't change anything except the film". Difficult, certainly. Perhaps sending the films to a pro lab would make it easier to ensure consistent development?