I picked up my annual half flat of pansies from Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool the first day of the sale instead of the last this year. It was a good move. The color choices were very good, with lots of bicolors, some that I don't see that often. I typically buy the varieties with medium sized flowers: the huge floppy ones don't do quite as well in the wind and rain and the tiny Violas are fine, but not quite as showy or as variable in color. All but two of the plants "Ultima Radiance" either Lilac or Violet which are Viola x wittrockiana hybrids. This cultivar has 2-2.5 inch flowers with a "face". Two of the plants are "Blue Butterfly" with slightly larger flowers (2.5-3.5).
Pansies do pretty well in our wet climate, being tolerant of cool temperatures and rain.
They do require a bit of tending to keep them at their best: feed them, I prefer a slow release fertilizer (eg. osmocote or compost) and pinch back the flowers before they set seed and fruit. Pinching should keep them from getting too lanky later in the season. If they do start to get a bit leggy, take the scissors and trim them back, feed them up and they should regain their attractive form.