It's a common question on scrapbook message boards: "If you HAD to pick one, would you scrap only with patterned paper or only with cardstock?" For years, there was no question in my mind- cardstock for sure. It wasn't uncommon for me to make layouts entirely from cardstock. Cardstock is so versatile and goes with everything. Plus, of course, there's the argument that you can stamp/paint/mist cardstock to make your own patterns, but you can't erase patterns from patterned paper to make cardstock.
Now when I see that question, I'm not so sure. Could I really give up patterned paper in favor of cardstock? I don't think so. While it's true that you can dress up cardstock in many ways, it doesn't come close to the variety of patterned paper available. Patterned paper makes it possible to convey mood and theme in a way that is far more challenging with only cardstock.
When I pulled out this year's egg dyeing photos, I reached for a piece of oh-so-trendy chevron patterned paper. Then I got another piece of patterned paper, and another and another and another. When I finished, I had a bright and happy, richly-patterned, cardstock-free layout.
Could I give up cardstock and scrap only with patterned paper? No, I couldn't. No way. Fortunately, I don't actually have to choose between cardstock and patterned paper. I'll continue to use and love them both.