Glad you didn't order thermal printables. They have a sealed surface and ink just puddles on top of it.
You will find that Falcon's unique Smart White surface is about midway between a regular matte inkjet printable and a glossy. The surface is so smooth that it looks noticeably more impressive than regular inkjet. But of course, nothing is quite so impressive as a glossy if you are printing high color photo quality images.
Yes, you can get a sense of playback reliability from tests like these in the blank media forum. A disc that tests with low maximum and average error rates will usually play back more readily with even finicky players. Compare the scans of the various CD-R's with Taiyo Yuden and TDK(Falcon), and you'll see that they are a standout for consistently higher quality.
That Canon has a good reputation, and you should certainly give it a try first. If you are disappointed with the quality, I would recommend an Epson Artisan in the 700-800 line.