I agree that in the past I have found OEM pads the best.
I once had 3 different sets in my garage at the same time for my 95' Suzuki RF900.
None of the so called "Racing compound" types gave as good an initial bite as the worn out stock ones that I had taken off.
They cost almost twice as much, but I went back to OEM and have never tried any thing else since.
Mind you things have moved on a bit since the late 90's as far a compounds go.
I've always liked the pads that came stock on the 1998 and 1999 YZF-R1s.
In fact, when it came time to change front pads on my 2002 model, that's what I put on - they work noticably better, and I wished that the bike woulda' come with them to begin with.
In fact, I feel they're so much better, that in hindsight, I shoulda' changed them at 0 miles.
Basically, there's more braking power with less effort at the lever.
If you want to try these, beware:
Having a Yamaha dealer order these today from a Yamaha USA parts warehouse will not get you the exact same pads that came stock on those 1998 and 1999 models, which had a part number of 4XV-W0045-00-00.
For the 2000 model year, the front pads of the YZF-R1 changed to a new part number because the pad material changed:
What Yamaha will supply to dealers today is the 2000 model pad.
Long story short:
Don't expect part number 5JJ-W0045-00-00 to work like the original part number of 4XV-W0045-00-00.
Luckily, my local Yamaha dealer still has some left in his stock.