Although I work mainly digitally these days (for convenience and speed) I still enjoy sketching out my ideas in good old pen/pencil and paper. Even though I don't create final works of art using these tools, I am really picky about the quality and usabilityof the supplies that I buy and use.
For sketchbooks and paper, I really like these sketchbooks I found in the bargain section of Barnes & Nobles. The brand is Piccadilly and I'm not sure if they are exclusively sold in B&N stores, but so far it's the only location I've able to find them locally. I searched Amazon.com and they do sell the brand but at much more inflated prices than I can find in store. The ones I've purchased are small, about 5.75"x8.75". I think I spent around $5 for each and they have 200 pages (100 sheets back and front) and they are acid-free. The larger ones run a little more at around $6.50 but they are about twice the size at ~8.5"x11.5" with the same number of pages.
I really like the paper in these. They are fairly thick with a little tooth (texture). The paper takes ink very well. I can use a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and get a lot of ink coverage with a little bleedthrough but not enough to mark the page behind it. Another thing I like about this paper is that it doesn't really bleed. Even with the thick, wet ink in the brushpen, I can confidently make strokes without worrying about bleeding edges. I was really impressed. I do have a variety of pens I've tried to test bleeding/bleedthrough with and only the Pentel brushpen really "bled through" the paper. For bleeding, none of the pens really bled much. This is one of my major pet peeves with different types of paper, I hate it when my inks bleed because I like nicely defined outlines and I feel bleeding ruins my whole illustration. I usually do an extra pass when outlining the outer edges of my illustrations so it's really frustrating when I have bleeding screw up my drawing when it's practically done.
Here are a few of the pens I use to show how they mark the sketchbook pages:
I would highly recommend these sketchbooks because even though they are cheap, they work for me really well. I will buy the larger version and update if I feel that there is a difference in the quality of paper. Oh, and another thing to note is that they do come in different cover styles with the same paper in both. I bought the standard black and the one with the Hokusai wave design.
I also make my own mini sketchbooks that I use in my hand made notebook holder (midori style notebook).
I made my own little sketchbooks for this notebook. I used a nicer printer paper, specifically this one. This paper is a little thicker than standard printer paper. Not as nice as my sketchbook's paper, but it serves it's purpose well. It does tend to bleed with certain pens (I found I can't use the Stabilo Fineliners to out line on this paper) but it holds up to my Crayola markers fine. There is bleed through using this paper so I pretty much draw only on one side of a sheet and I use a scrap as blotter in the back to prevent bleeding through on the sheet behind. I choose to make my own notebooks (as opposed to buying premade ones like Field notes or Moleskines that can fit my notebook) because It's much cheaper and I find I don't mind messing up or wasting sheets with doodling.
Here are links to some of the tools used: