I never knew women thought of pads and tampons that way, lol. xP
Personally I prefer pads as tampons feel uncomfortable to me (they itch and I feel like I am not wearing any underwear and am constantly paranoid about either it coming out, it going in or not changing them often enough.)
Even for swimming I am terrified that you can see the string or it is not enough protection or something, :P.
I have been thinking about cloth pads lately, and if I knew I was on top of maintaining them then I might get them, but I am not diligent about stuff like that at all. I have been getting yeast infections before (and they continue sometimes during) my period and omg the pads are so irritating to my skin and I am miserable!