The pod-filter vs. panel filter is pretty subjective, actually.. theres no yes/no answer really..
A pod filter should have the highest airflow rates of any type of filter, while a K&N or similar panel filter will still flow better than a standard paper filter.
I think in any given occasion, a pod filter will offer the best engine response, but possibly not the most power possible. The reason for this is that the pod-filter is just lying in the engine bay which gets REALLY hot (over 100 degrees ambient even on a cool day, in some parts of the engine bay). Hot air is less dense than cold air, hence you will have less air in the cylinders for each combustion (and therefore less fuel, and a less powerful combustion. Also, it may be less fuel efficient).
In short, to get the best of both worlds, enclose the pod-filter in either an old airbox or a custom enclosure, and create a scoop of some kind to suck in cold air from outside the bonnet. A few people have had some pretty inovative ideas on how to do this, but the easiest is to just stick the pod in the original airbox, keep it sealed and use the original scoop (which feeds from just over the radiator at the front of the car)..
I could rant more about how the standard paper filter should theoretically supply a standard or mildy worked engine with enough oxygen right up to redline, and how a K&N panel definitely should, but not for now