I felt the same as DD about this type of surfacing.
The thing is, it is supposed to be good at filling the cracks and other small potholes and imperfections to a reasonable depth. Also it is supposed to be good at covering up 'reflective cracking', that is to say where previous reinstatement work is beginning to show through again. Quite often, this was where the green tubes for cable tv were laid about 20 years ago - only a few inches down, but what a legacy. To be fair, plenty of other examples are out there.
The small stones that are used (called dressing) are quite sharp and hard wearing, so a layer of about 8 to 10 mm is possible, which means that in a lot of cases, ironworks just need to be masked rather than raised. The stones are more expensive than the ones used in previous 'hot rolled' surfaces, but in a thinner coating it gives a larger spreading area for a given weight.
A metal roller must not be used to press the dressing into the adhesive bitumen undercoat, but a rubber one is ok - so they just let the cars do it a couple of hours later. That is another advantage - the short time-scale before traffic can go on it due to it being thin. The excess dressing can be swept away after 24 hours and re-used.
All this sounds ideal, but I still don't trust the stuff. I keep expecting the surface to be ripped off on a hot day if someone breaks hard. The stone dressing just seems to keep detaching from the surface. Even if the sweeper wagon comes along each week, there always seems to be a hazard from an accumulation of loose stones.
Just look at different roads. Some seem to be good from Day 1, while others seem to vary. This is often because one section was laid on one day and another on a different day. It seems that it takes a good resurfacing gang to get consistent results by adjusting the mix according to the weather and other conditions.
The manufacturers web sites make interesting reading, but I would recommend a site called Highways Maintenance
which is written by a now retired highways engineer, and contains a wealth us useful information. How do you measure skid resistance, and what is a sand test? You can find out.
By the way, I don't think he likes this 'cheap stuff' either.