My brother and I are good examples of some different kinds of hiking/backpacking styles.
He's the classic (medium) heavy packer, hikes lower miles per day, likes to wander around and explore 3rd class x-country routes with nothing particular in mind, doesn't really plan what or where he's going (other than how many days he's out), doesn't take a map (other than maybe a generic 15 minute of the area), doesn't leave an itinerary, and thinks getting stuck in class 3-4 situations is 'fun'. His hiking partner from his 20s & 30s (with whom he had many adventures) was even more core, and has done the north-west face of Half Dome (with ropes), as well as Rainer and other NW alpine volcanoes.
Here's a good anecdotal story: Around 7-8 years ago my brother was coming down the Kuna crest towards Lyle, and came across a young couple coming the other way. Turns out they were staffers @ Vogelsang out for a hike on their day off and had taken an x-country path over the Cathedral divide. Well, he thought that sounded fun, so they gave him a basic description and off he went. His traverse route covered many of the areas described in these TRs:viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2405viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14805#p110640
What makes this interesting from the standpoint of differences in styles and preferences is he did it on a whim, rather than as a planned hike. He didn't study the route, didn't have a good map, but rather relied on his experience and comfort level. He had enough food, had enough time, knows how to read the terrain, and is just generally comfortable with himself.
Me? I'm the complete opposite, but we both like to hang out, so there's really no right or wrong. Our younger brother is (slightly) decompressing a little bit from his exec career and has expressed interest in taking a short backpacking trip this summer. He's more like me, so my x-country brother just smiles and says "have fun guys". LOL