Feathering, I believe, came from the racing aspect of paddling. A feathered blade cuts through the wind more efficiantly, allowing for a faster and less taxing stroke. This is useful for us non-racers as well. Have you ever had to paddle up wind? It can be tough to get that paddle around without hitting oneself in the face with the shaft in a stiff wind. Feathering definately helps. Also, when playing it seems to be a good thing to have a fast paddle speed. I rarely see any 45 degree feathered paddles anymore. They tend to cause pre-mature wrist problems. More common now are 30 degree, I think. I may be off by a few degrees.
I can't help you out much with a recomondation, as I have not been in the market. Hope that helps. Maybe someone will retort my explination, as I may be mistaken. Happy hunting...paddle hunting, that is!
"A witty saying proves nothing."
- Voltaire (1694-1778)