I've been testing fine art papers for Epson and HP "B" sized printers, and I've come across a real diamond in the rough. Epson's Watercolor Paper Radiant White costs less than half as much as their Velvet Fine Art Paper, but produces comparable results with a higher archival rating.
Both papers have a bright white surface that produce vibrant images, feature texture and weight that feel good in the hands, and dries instantly for easy handling. I've done many side-by-side prints with both stocks, and the watercolor images come very close to the vibrancy of those printed on Velvet Fine Art. The kicker is, you can get 13" x 19" (Super B size) sheets of Epson Watercolor for about a $1 a sheet, and the Velvet Fine Art runs about $3 a print.
Another interesting note is that the archival permanence for the Watercolor is 92 years compared to 61 years for Velvet Fine Art. I can use the regular sheet feeder on an Epson R2400 for the Watercolor, but had to use the manual sheet feeder for the Velvet, which is a heavier paper stock.
No doubt, the Epson Velvet Fine Art paper is fantastic. It is heavier than the Watercolor and has a better D-Max rating. But when I put large B&W images next to each other (printed on both papers), I'm thrilled by how well the Watercolor prints hold up to those on the Velvet Fine Art... for about a third of the price.