Most boards are the higher TC now and the finishes, fluxes, etc mean things solder a bit easier. I have even noticed hand soldering lead free is easier than it was a few years back. Maybe I just unknowingly learned a few tricks.
I typically use lead free HASL (hot air surface leveling) or silver plating. I think HASL is easier to solder. I use immersion gold at work, but we do much different type work (day job) like BGAs there.
"If you didn't build it, you will never own it."