For gift albums anything goes but these are usually post bound 12x12 or 8x8 albums. Not brand loyal but prefer ones with protected covers.
For my own albums I use office notebooks that I buy in bulk from office supply places. These are the white ones that you can slip papers in the fronts, backs and spines. I print out year and months onto strips of papers for the spines.
Since I started sbing with 8.5x11 papers, that's what I started with and still enjoy. Although recently, I've started doing 11x8.5 layouts, I still use the same the notebook albums.