I finally got to A.I. Friedman on W. 18th Street a few days ago, and am still in sensory overload from all the fantastic stuff they have in stock. One particular journal I'm planning on going back to get is part of a Disney set, not something I'm usually interested in but this one featured a great picture of Minnie Mouse.
One notepad I liked the minute I saw it was the Quattro by Global Art Materials. These notepads come in a number of shapes and sizes, and in grid, lined, and blank acid-free paper that feels similar to Clairfontaine (very heavy, no bleed through or feathering, very light shadow so double-sided writing is fine). In addition, the sheets are perforated for easy removal, and the lines themselves are tiny dots rather than a thick line (see pic below). The Quattro I finally purchased is a 3.4" x 5.5" notepad with a heavy paper-stock cover that folds back like a reporter's notebook. It's priced at $2.99 plus tax, and available at a number of stores (Blick, Sam Flax, etc.).
The Quattro comes in many different sizes, and there were several I would have purchased but for one small problem: they were avocado green, a color I absolutely do not like. This little notepad was the only one that came in pale mint, and while I would like it in a larger size I had to make a trade off for getting a color I liked. Global Art Materials also makes a leather cover for this size notepad, again similar to a Rhodia cover, for $19.99. The leather cover is a nice idea, but the Quattro itself is good looking and sturdy, making it a cute addition to my collection.