Someone was recently selling me on a fresh water system for my pool as an alternative to my salt water (or chlorine) system. I asked him if there was a pool I could go off and swim in to see the difference and he said sure, come by his house. In the end I never went because I decided to not use that system for other reasons.
You are about to spend a lot of money on a pool surface and if you stay in that house for 5, 10, 15 years you will have to live with that decision for a long time. My advice is to ask each of the vendors if they have a sample pool that you (and your family) can try out to get a good feel for the surface. I have a pebble-tech finish and I could give you my opinion but it would be just that: My Personal opinion. What I like might not be what you and your family likes.
I hope this helps.