By all means, go with a satin finish. The flat finish is kind of outdated. I rarely see it being used these days. As for brands of paint and quality...I've used a lot of brands over the years and many of them seem comparable in quality to me. One thing that's for sure, you want to avoid the cheap stuff. And it's not necessary to pay $26 a gallon for quality paint either. Stay away from Sherwin Williams, it's good paint, but they're over priced to the point of ridiculous. Olympic Paint is a personal favorite of mine...available at Lowes. Lowes tells me they only sell one grade of Olympic...Premium. Hope this helped you out some.