Because we often have a couple of bikes here on loan, and we also do a variety of different types of riding (from multi-modal commuting with folders to day tours in the country), I end up riding a wide variety of saddles on a regular basis. In the process, I’ve developed some general impressions and preferences that might be useful in your search for the perfect saddle.
For the most part, the generic, off-brand saddles delivered on low- to mid-level production bikes range from not bad to pretty awful. These typically have a plastic base with some foam padding and a synthetic leather cover. They vary in design, quality, and comfort, though nearly all can be improved upon with an aftermarket replacement. I don’t know this for a fact, but many of these saddles appear to be designed for comfort on the showroom floor, but because the padding is usually fairly soft, they can become uncomfortable on longer rides. They’re certainly worth a try, but if you’re riding the stock saddle that came with your bike and you’re having saddle issues, an upgrade may be in order.
I’ve had good luck with the Brooks B17 over the years. For decades it’s been a popular saddle among long distance riders who aren’t concerned with weight (primarily tourists and randonneurs). I find the B17 fairly comfortable, regardless of what bike it’s on. In other words, unlike some other saddles, I can run the B17 both on bikes with the bars higher than the saddle and on bikes with the bars below the saddle. For me, it’s not absolutely the most comfortable saddle, but it’s a versatile saddle that works well for many people.
The Brooks B67 is my favorite saddle for bikes with high handlebars. High bars place the rider in an upright posture, rolling the hips back and placing weight on the sit bones. The B67 is wider than the B17; this added width combined with the sprung frame does a good job of supporting the pelvis and absorbing road shock. Some people may find the B67 too wide, particularly on bikes with the handlebars set near saddle height.
My personal favorite saddle for bikes with bars at or below saddle height is the Selle An-Atomica Titanico. The S-A is a leather saddle with a slot. It’s similar in size and shape to the Brooks B17 but the leather is much softer. The effect is less like a traditional saddle and more like a sling; I find it exceptionally comfortable, but others don’t like the feeling.
No less an authority than Kent Peterson recommends V-series WTB saddles. I don’t currently ride a WTB, but I’ve ridden loaners outfitted with their saddles and have found them to be comfortable. They’re available in a nice selection of widths which is a real plus. I may look into a WTB the next time I need to replace a saddle.
More important than any of the above is how a particular saddle interfaces with your physique. A generic saddle that fits you perfectly may end up being more comfortable than a Brooks or S-A that’s a bad fit. Unfortunately, you have to put in a fair amount of time on a saddle to know for sure how it will work for you.