Black and white photos make for compelling images, because they are inherently unrealistic, without any colour information, so you look at them differently. And as a photographer, you create them differently, with different composition and exposure, if you know they will be black and white in the end.
There are numerous ways to create excellent B&W (or, to be accurate, greyscale) images from colour digital originals using Photoshop or similar software tools—but there is still something to be said for black and white film photography.
When I first got into photography in the 1980s, and when I didn't plan to process and print the film myself, I would use Ilford's XP2 film for black and white, because unlike most B&W films, any regular colour photo lab could process it using their automated C-41 chemical machines. And I found myself a roll of XP2 for the first set of photos I took with the Nikon F4 film camera I bought recently.
What I didn't know is that the two big film manufacturers, Kodak and Fuji, also make similar chromogenic black and white films that can be processed using C-41: BW400CN and Neopan 400 CN respectively. I don't know when those were introduced, but I don't think they were around 20 years ago along with Ilford. I also discovered that many local photo retailers (even non-specialist, non-pro stores) carry at least one of the three—London Drugs has triple-packs of Kodak BW400CN for a reasonable $4 or so per roll, for instance.
While I've tried cross processing of slide film pictures taken with the F4 camera recently, and the wacky colours there are fun, I think I'll be spending most of my film shooting time in black and white. I'll see whether I prefer the Ilford or Kodak (and maybe Fuji) stocks when I do.
Yes, I may try some traditional black and white silver halide film (which requires different processing), but the C-41 black and whites are just so easy to take it to the local supermarket for one-hour processing, printing, and scanning to CD. It's almost like the instant gratification we're used to in the digital era. Or as close as I can get while still using film anyway.