I am trying to figure out if there are any differences between the two that would make me want to choose one over the other.
Or perhaps it just boils down to price and opinion in which case the answer would be something along it doesn't matter.
Yes, it mostly boils down to price. The continuous-surface diamond plates tend to be significantly more expensive with, honestly, no clear advantage.
If you just want to dip your toe into diamond sharpening I would recommend you get inexpensive diamond plates of the type you see everywhere. In the US they'll usually be less than $10 for a set of three, and currently there's a four-sided block with a plastic holder on Harbor Freight which is $9.99 (shown on the right below).
People using high-end diamond products from the likes of DMT can be horrified at these and assume they can't work properly, but the practical experience of a great many users argues otherwise. There's a lot written about how much flatter the name-brand plates are (which is undeniably true) but at the end of the day that tends to matter most to OCD types who obsess over that sort of thing.
Bottom line is this:
Are the inexpensive ones as good as the more expensive plates? No.
Can they be good enough to do the job? Yes.
To illustrate the point, I recently re-sharpened a 'rescue chisel' (bought some months ago covered in rust) using my old diamond plates. This was done just to confirm that a bare-bones sharpening system built around cheap diamond plates could be enough.
The chisel was previously sharpened with a convex/cambered bevel so first step was to re-grind the bevel flat, which took roughly seven minutes, including stops to check for square and adjust grinding pressure as needed. Then I worked up through the grits as you would normally do.
And finally stropped for final edge refinement. Not pictured was a final honing step but you can go straight to stropping from the fine plate, you just need to strop for longer to compensate (e.g. 40-50 strokes as opposed to 15-20, the difference of less than a minute).
Since the strop was homemade from scraps the total cost of the sharpening equipment used here was €8 (equivalent to approximately $9 at the time of purchase).
If you'd like to take this further I would still argue against buying the expensive plates. They're undeniably very good and seem to hold up well to use, but they're expensive compared to viable alternatives, e.g. oilstones, or steel plates charged with diamond paste.
If you're interested in more on the latter see this page from Bob Strawn, Overkillsharp™ Honing Method. If you source the diamond pastes directly from a Chinese supplier a full setup of five, even ten, plates can cost less than a quarter of a single DMT plate!