I have been looking for a new kitchen faucet recently at all the box stores, and noticed that pretty much all pull-out/pull-down faucets are now using a black braided hose instead of a more rigid stainless steel hose. For example, the black braided hose:
And the stainless steel (sometimes segmented) hose:
The last time I went looking for faucets, the more expensive ones (~$200+) all seemed to use the stainless steel hose, while especially on the cheaper ones (eg, <$100) used the black braided hose. What I've noticed is practically all faucets -- even $400 ones -- have the black braided hose, or sometimes a silver braided hose (which may be made of steel).
I previously had one of the braided hoses in my laundry room, and one thing I noticed was it didn't seem to be as durable. If pulled too hard, it could actually be pinched against the spout and block water, and it seemed like a lot of this use would cause it to break. The stainless steel / segmented hose is effectively crush-proof and doesn't seem to have this issue.
There must be some reason the industry is going to the black braided hose, but what is it? I could see this being a cost-saving measure, in that most people don't consider the hose type when purchasing, but I'd still expect the $300+ faucets to use what seems to me to be the higher-end hose.