Sheet vinyl is easy; you really can't go far wrong no matter what quality you buy. Vinyl long term wear is determined by the number of "wear layers" the vinyl has on it. Each wear layer is like a coat of polyurethane on the floor. The more coats, the longer the expected wear. Each coat, or mil of wear layer, equates to one year of wear. Therefore, a 5 mil floor lasts five years, a 20 mil floor 20 years. Kind of. No matter the thickness, any sheet vinyl floor can be ripped, torn, gouged or cut. The heavier mil floors DO retain their gloss and look longer than the most inexpensive vinyls do. The styling and color is also superior in them.
The good and the bad. Vinyl can, in general, be installed for less money than any other hard surface flooring, IF you pick a base grade and not one of the premium floors. If you pick a premium vinyl, the cost between that floor, laminate, ceramic, or the new luxury vinyl tiles is very close. The bad about vinyl is the seaming. All vinyl seams today come apart in time. It may take seven years, it may take ten, but come apart they do. If you have a large flooring area that would require a seam or multiple seams, it would be my recommendation that you NOT put in a sheet vinyl floor, but one of the new Luxury vinyl tile floors.
The new animal in sheet vinyl is the glass backed vinyls. Softer than vinyl with nearly a "cushioned" feel, it is made in beautiful patterns and colors. It should, in my opinion, ALWAYS be glued down, but when done correctly, can be easily taken up if a new floor is put in. I like it and I like the theory of it.
Currently it is my feeling that Mannington Mills owns the vinyl market. There styling, patterns and color are far superiour to their competetors. Armstrong would be my second choice. Both companies produce quality products at competetive prices.
The last product is REAL LINOLEUM. This is a product from days gone by that is re-appearing today. It is a "Green Product", being manufactured using linseed oil, is tough and long lasting. For longevity it should be installed with "heat welded" seams. It is 6'6" wide so you will have multiple seams. Because of the heat welding they will be very durable. It comes in basically solid colors with swirls of color in it and does require waxing and maintenance. It is a long lasting and durable product.