I think it would be easiest to tell media water levels with clear plastic pots, pretty easy with regular opaque plastic pots (dry pots are extremely light) and most difficult with clay (heavy wet, heavy dry).
I use clear plastic for my paphs & phrags, grown in s/h, not out of any real reason except a desire to see how the roots are doing. I grow my catts in clay pots so I can water them very frequently while actively growing (and still have them dry out properly). I don't really grow phals, but I potted my mother's, and half are in clay, and half are in plastic in a s/h system.
I'd definitely use clay if a plant is prone to tipping over, i.e. dendrobiums, big gangly cattleyas, or phals prone to producing long arching spikes. The difference between watering clay and plastic pots, all other things being equal, is quite substantial. I might water a plant in a 6" plastic pot once a week and the same plant in a 6" clay pot every 4 days. Just as an example.