Sorry Damien - all I was suggesting was that the koni dampers are unlikely to be softer than the standard fitment, and note that a fair comparison can only be made with new parts. I certainly wasn't suggesting the standard items were good or bad or indifferent, though if they're one of the worst you've experienced I invite you to drive my wife's 1997 Hyundai Accent, fortunately now replaced by something less inclined to kill all who sail in her.
In my experience when you fit new dampers to a car the ride improves, which could be read as softer, but it should also be more controlled. If the old dampers have deteriorated a lot then the improvement can be considerable. I think in the case of the newer Koni's you're getting the benefit of a new part with probably better technology and design, and getting a good result.
As an aside, we have 2 156's, both interior facelift late 2002 build, both on or about 112k km. One's a JTS sedan, the other a V6 wagon. The sedan has original veloce spec setup, untouched. The wagon has lowering springs of unknown origin and Bilstein dampers, fitted by a previous owner (quite possibly some time ago - we've only owned it for a year). Now I know the V6 donk is a heavy old lump, but the sedan on the std setup is so much better in all aspects of ride and handling that you'd not guess they were the same basic car. I can only put the difference down to the heavier engine (and q-system auto box).