Thanks guys, it may well be standard. Changing to the Bilsteins didn't really make it seem anymore harsh, but then it's so harsh I don't think you could make it seem any worse. However the slow speed damping and rebound were instantly noticable.
I do think it would benefit softer springs, its also stopping me sticking powerflex bushes onto it. Anyone know were you can get softer springs at the same ride height?
It could also have something to do with the state of the Scottish roads.
I'm still baffled by the comment from my friend a few years ago, as I know the other guy bought his new and didn't change a thing.
It's on the std wheels on Goodyear Eagle F1's but I don't know what the loading index is. I'll check tonight, they are due for replacement and I was going to stick something on with a high load index but if it makes a difference I might go the other way.