Today I ordered electrolytic caps. It was frustrating. I had planned to get the best low-ESR replacements for all the caps in some switching power supplies. I discovered how limited any one manufacturer's low-ESR catalog is. Many of what I needed (none of which seem to me to be esoteric values) were not available. A couple of times I had to leave a particular manufacturer's catalog altogether to find a value.
Which brings me to my question. I was trying to get all Panasonic FM-series (hi-temp, low-ESR) caps. I've heard good things about Panasonic's caps, but being forced to another brand I has no idea of comparable quality. (This, at Digi-Key and Mouser.)
Also, How important is the type of electrolyte? I've read that low-ESR caps are frequently made with water-based electrolyte whereas non-water-based formulae cannot give low ESR value.
The qualities of caps (ie, hi-ripple, hi-temp, low-ESR, etc.) are frequently discussed on electronics forum, but I haven't seen the different manufacturers compared.
How do the quality of caps compare by
Nichicon Panasonic Vishay / Sprague Mallory Rubycon United Chemi-Con Cornell Dublier Xicon
Feel free to add to the list, praise, trash, and/or list in order of your preference. Extra credit for essays on why you like / hate / prefer a brand or series of caps.