The better the lard, the less "porky" the taste. You can get very good lard from some carnecerias, and lesser from others -- it just depends on the fat they use initially. Smelly fat makes for smelly lard; it's largely a matter of where on the pig the fat was. The guys in the carnecieria make lard (manteca) exactly the same way you are, just in larger quantities. If the convenience of having someone do the work is what you're after, you can probably find a carneceria with lard as good as yours.
Leaf lard is lard like all other lard, only the fat comes from very specific areas -- around the loin and/or kidneys. By the way, best quality suet comes from the kidney and loin areas of a beeve.
If you're located in SoCal, Farmer John brand lard is ubiquitous, very high quality, and very mild in aroma and taste.
In my opinion good lard gives a cleaner taste than Crisco. It's my preferred fat for anything where "flaky" is important -- that includes any pie crust and biscuits too.