This isn't a debate about which is better, but when each is more practical in real life situations.
If I had my way I'd use plastic backed 100% of the time and they wouldn't make any noise unless I wanted them to. Since they don't make completely silent diapers I am stuck using the the next best thing in certain situations.
I've come up with basically two diapers I use depending on the situation (of course I have some others but these are what I buy by the case). I've got Bambinos for those long trips and work and I've got Abena air-plus supers for wearing around the wife and when I'm at work but much closer to people or in quiet situations.
I don't like the cloth backed at all because they soak into your clothes. Wearing an Abena X-plus with the cloth is pointless without plastic pants (not very discreet in any regard anyways). I can stand the supers however for the time that I am wearing one wet. Plus you can't beat discreetness when you are trying to enjoy wearing diapers but not bother your significant others too much.
What are your experiences?