Specific to your query on Instant Yeast vs Active Dry Yeast, here are some tips and reasons why I prefer Active Dry Yeast. For regular people, I agree, Instant Yeast is preferred.
First, if your recipe has enough hydration, you can use Active Dry Yeast just like you would Instant, i.e., just throw it in there without proofing. In fact, I do this every week in the fall, winter, and spring. However, Active Dry Yeast mixed this way will take longer to work. If a recipe was tested with Active Dry Yeast, and has a proofing step, then I would use ADY and do the proofing step the first time so you can follow the timings as a rough guide and understand what the dough is supposed to feel like. Later, you can switch to Instant Yeast – or with sufficient hydration just mix in the ADY without proofing – and go by sight and feel.
Second, my understanding is that Instant Yeast is a finer granule size and, therefore, dissolves easier. This is why a proofing step isn’t needed. However, unlike with ADY, I have never found Instant Yeast without sorbitan monostearate. I think it’s because the smaller granules are at more risk of drying out. Regardless, I’m a purist type of cook/baker, and I don’t want extra ingredients. Additionally, Instant Yeast will often contain ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). Ascorbic acid acts as a preservative and also gives you taller loaves. Again, I don’t want the extra ingredient, plus as a hobbyist, that’s qualifies as “cheating” for me.
In fact, I used to buy bread flour with ascorbic acid in the ingredients and when I switched to King Arthur Bread Flour, it took me a while to figure out why there was a difference in my loaves. Some recipes will specifically rely on the ascorbic acid, so you have to be careful. I think it was the Dominique Ansel book (or a similarly high profile pastry cookbook) where I had to switch to Instant Yeast for the recipes to work. Ascorbic acid for baking can also be purchased separately where it is usually labeled as “Dough Conditioner”.