Fleece and suedecloth, which are common interior diaper fabrics actually stay dry feeling when wet. It takes A LOT of moisture for these fabrics to actually feel wet. This results in baby's skin remaining dry and not feeling wet after he's peed. It makes him feel more comfortable. Hemp and bamboo are actually naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial which means that they can ward off rashes and help heal rashes.
As for absorbency, microfiber can absorb approx 7x it's weight. Hemp and bamboo are even more absorbent. I use 2 microfiber towels, folded in thirds together inside his "pocket diapers".
Cloth diapers breathe. He gets far more air in these then he would get in disposables. Disposables have actually been proven to cause the temperature of the skin to rise because they can't breathe. The heat that can generate under that diaper has been linked with male infertility. This is really no different than the reason they tell you a man shouldn't hold a laptop on his lap as the heat can cause him to become sterile. This is the same exact concept. Extreme temperatures can cause harm to the testicles and cause them to permanently have problems. Disposables contain paper and plastic along with artificially created gels that absorb. The process of making these gels alone is toxic. The fumes that come off in the factory during production are harmful to all of us. The gels themselves have been linked with toxic shock sydrome and if leaked out onto the skin (and this happened A LOT with Adam so I know first hand that it does happen frequently with various diaper brands) and released into the blood stream, it *can* cause kidney damage. These are actually very dangerous chemicals that are used to make the disposable diapers absorbent. Also, we used disposables with Adam, we had leaks *all* the time. We constantly had to change his clothes along with his diaper. Logan started in disposables and we had the same problem. Every brand leaked after a short time and we had constant "poop blowouts". Since switching him to cloth, this hasn't been a problem.
It also takes 500 years for 1 disposable diaper to degrade. This is not me being very weird or anything but if everyone keeps using disposable diapers, we'll end up overfilling our landfills and quite seriously be a planet full of disposable diapers. Cloth however, will break down far before disposable diapers will so when the diapers are really worn out, there's no harm in throwing them away (after several uses for several children- they last a long time).
There's also the fact that we have saved a ton of money. We've seriously been using the same sized diapers since he was 4 months old. We haven't had to buy more diapers since we bought enough to last us. If you need to see the math for cloth vs. disposable, this site is pretty accurate http://diaperline.blogspot.com/2007/06/sposie-math.html , http://diaperline.blogspot.com/2007/06/sposie-math-two.html
The amount of work to wash them is nearly non existent. First- the argument I usually hear is "well you use more water to wash them" and, well, this is just blatantly untrue. As I said, with disposable diapers, you have to change a lot of the kids clothes too so you're washing a lot of laundry. Cloth diapers don't leak so I have less laundry to do, the occasional load of diapers isn't hurting anything water or electricity wise. Second, I wash 2 loads every 4 days or so. That's once or twice a week depending on which day I wash. I don't presoak them- I just throw them into our pail after he uses them (I just shake the poop off into the toilet, takes about 2 seconds) and then on wash day I wash them.
Here's some links with more info-http://diaperline.blogspot.com/2007/06/why-use-cloth.html , http://www.thenewparentsguide.com/diapers.htm , http://diapersafari.com/diaperinfo/whyclothdiapers/ , http://www.thediaperhyena.com/disposableanatomy.htm , http://www.parentingweb.com/misc/cloth_facts.htm , http://www.thediaperhyena.com/diaper_drama_scene3_health.htm , http://www.zany-zebra.com/cloth-vs-disposable.shtml , http://www.borntolove.com/facts.html , http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/tutorial1.html , http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php , http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/whyclothdiapers.html , http://www.justduckybaby.com/index.php?action=cloth_diapers_and_your_baby
and some great places to buy from-