Thanks for the input! I have taken a few different Sportsters for test rides (they all seem to have horrible stock shocks), and the weird thing was that some felt obnoxiously rough, while others I loved. I'm not sure if it was a difference in year or in trim or something else. The 72, while having too much chrome for my taste and with ape hangers that big, it made me feel like I was about to fall over unexpectedly at any moment, was actually pretty fun to ride. The 48 I liked too, although I imagine the seating position wouldn't be comfortable for too long. I kind of like the peanut tanks and the narrowness of the bike between your legs and the forward controls on both models. I'm a hair under 5'11", and found them more or less on par with my 650, if not with a little more leg room. I was half considering finding a used 883 Iron and putting forward controls on it. It wouldn't be a huge of a bump from my 650 (from the specs, the torque and hp on the 883 looks to be right in the middle of the V Star 650 and the Sportster 1200), but I am in town 90% of the time anyway...
I still think it was odd that some Sportsters felt wrong, while others just seemed to run better. Maybe it was my imagination, or maybe it was the mechanic who prepped it. I don't know and I'm probably not experienced enough to say.
2009 V Star 650 Custom Midnight