The reason they say that chocolates are inferior is that some breeders who breed specifically for that color are focused on color too much and are letting some of the more important traits slide. I have known several chocolates, my own included who were wonderful, calm dogs. My Bonnie was calm, even as a puppy, very obedient and easy to train. She had a terribly sweet, friendly disposition. She was short and stocky, strong, but not overly bulky. My Dad hunted with a friend who had a chocolate and she was exceptionally good at hunting and also calm, but yet exuberant enough to do a good job. Labs should definitely not be hyper, but some exuberance and enthusiasm is a good thing.
The Lab has a thick, double coat and they do shed. They're sturdy and strong and not the most agile of dogs. They're built for busting through brush and are beautiful swimmers and one of very few retrievers who can stand frigid waters. They make all around terrific hunting dogs, upland and water, as well as super family pets. They do need to be with their family if you want a loyal, willing partner, IMO, not stuck out in some kennel in the back yard.