...I used Raybestos "service grade" semi-metallics, mainly because I'm cheap, and also because I'm easy on brake and clutch linings. I considered the ceramic but couldn't find any anecdotal evidence of improved braking, only less dust...
Everything else being equal, I'll take semi-metallic over ceramic pads any day.
As for bedding in the new pads, I did a short (1 mile) uphill/downhill run and made several increasingly hard stops. That has worked for me in the past. There was a bit of hot lining smell after but that's what I expected...
In my experience, less bedding in is better than more. I used to bed pads in according to the manufacturer's instructions, and often had problems. When I stopped the harsh bedding-in with new pads, the problems pretty much went away. Now when I get new pads, I just let them wear in from normal usage, except for maybe 3 or 4 moderately hard stops to accelerate the process a little. No more heat-them-up-until-they-smell bedding in for me. Just my opinion - I can't prove any of it, but am convinced.
'98 LXi - Later Concorde gages (black w/ chrome rings)/'99 LX - LHS gages (white) - HIR bulbs
Well, I guess I did something right - the car will now stop hard enough to get the ABS going on dry asphalt. Maybe I just needed to get the last bit of air out of there. Someone here said the ABS pump will purge itself of any air after being activated a couple of times, which I did on a sandy bit of road. Anyway I'm reasonably pleased. Next week's run will be the proof.