Take a look in my gallery if you want to see some examples of what Portra can do - a lot of my color work is shot on Portra. I've been mostly shooting the Portra 160 and been very happy with it, even (or especially, depending on your take on it) for night-time stuff. In my book it is well worth the extra cost. I suspect your disdain of film for sharpness comes from scanning color film - try optical printing sometime, or using a good scanner. You'll be amazed at how good film can be.