Good observations above. I'll elaborate on my comments above.
A lot of antenna choices come down to (i) what you want to work, (ii) how much weight you're willing to carry, and (iii) your location, including facilities for mounting antennas. These are often very personal decisions related to one's own location, circumstances and interests. Here's some of mine.
1. What you want to work
This comes down to operator preferences and operating culture on each band. I most prefer the more conversational operating style of 40m but occasionally like the DX excitement of 20m and the volatility of the higher bands, again for DX. 40m nearly always gives contacts at times that higher bands are dead or wall to wall contests (contests can provide good contacts but only if the rules allow contacts between anyone - not just to a selected country).
On 40m there's a good number of amateurs within 1000 - 1200km and a much lower number up to 3000km.
On 20m from here there's a few stations within 3000km but they're mainly working DX. So the emphasis here is very long haul (15 000km) DX.
2. Weight to carry
I'm lucky enough to be a few minutes walk from parks and beaches so want to hand-carry everything. And I might go into shops on the way there and back.
So there's some size and weight limitations.
3. Operating location
The beach is a huge asset that I'd be stupid not to exploit. There's a choice of being on the sand but near fences and seats (which one can lash a telescopic pole to),
on the sand nearer the water (no supports so need a sand spike for a pole - but need to be mindful of other people) or in the water.
Another choice is fixed portable or pedestrian mobile. Surprisingly, pedestrian mobile is not actually a compromise on 7 MHz and up, provided you're in salt water with a vertical antenna.
A half-wave end-fed with high-z coupler works very well on 40m for distances up to about 500 - 600km (with 5w SSB). It's performance drops off so that by 800km your signal is often
marginal, especially in the middle of the day. And 1000km + contacts are very rare (unless it's around dawn or dusk).
In contrast even if it's not full size (eg a centre loaded whip 5m long) I've found a vertical works extremely well for about 500km - 1000km on 40m during the day. That's provided you're over
the water, and your ground wire makes contact with it (I use a contact ring tied to my ankle - look up 'Wadetenna' for various links and videos). Luckily its under 500km performance is still good enough for it to be considered a good all round antenna. Provided it's warm enough I now prefer to be in the water rather than on the land with an end-fed half wave (it's a terrible performer out of the water).
Shorting the loading coil provides a full quarter wave on 14 MHz and the antenna appears to deliver good low angle performance with many DX contacts made. Some have been made on higher bands but they're less frequent than 14 MHz.
I think people are still right to be suspicious of short vertical antennas with limited ground systems. For a beginner at home a full sized dipole is likely to provide more predictable performance and possibly less noise, especially for short and medium distances. But I've learnt in the last year or two that there are circumstances that they do work and if you're in the water they're unbeatable.
A few notes and links to videos on portable antennas, including the Wadetenna mentioned above, is on my website at www.vk3ye.com