This might seem counter-intuitive, but the purpose of padded shorts is to aid in wicking moisture away from your private parts. They are not supposed to provide mechanical isolation for your back side. I wear them, and mostly use the spandex type, but I do have the mountain biker nylon ones too. This is one of those personal decisions that you will just have to make on your own. I have had good luck with budget 6 panel shorts, but no one seems to make those anymore. 8 panel shorts are not that much better, but they are more expensive. Different vendors put the seam in slightly different spots, and the location of the seam winds up being really important factor in your comfort. Keeping you dry and not chafing is really important to your comfort.
As for saddles...
This too is one of those personal decisions that you will just have to make on your own. I have leather saddles from Brooks on all 4 bicycles that I ride. Leather will deform to mirror your shape, and can be very comfortable. There is a break in cycle (they don't start out mirroring your shape), there are maintenance issues, and you need to keep it dry. I have had good luck with Brooks, but there are some other choices now as well. You might try contacting the folks at Wallingford Bicycle (www.wallbike.com
) as they have a good selection and the best return policy. If you are male and of a certain age, then a prostrate friendly cut out in the saddle will also be important.