As with any notebook, the real star of the show should be the paper and the paper in this one does not disappoint. Fountain pen inks resist feathering and there is no bleed through. Ghosting is certainly present but not at all bothersome. The description says "smooth paper" but I feel that it has some pleasant tooth to it.
The lay flat binding does, indeed, lay flat. I'm curious to see how this holds up over time with the exposed stitching and cardstock cover, but would definitely recommend this notebook to anyone looking for something a bit nicer than your run-of-the-mill Moleskine. Well done, Northbooks!