A real lambswool pad is more costly than a fake one, but much more comfortable. They do cushion - it's not just the saddles seat that gets saved.
But neither lasts more than a season or so.
I don't have any personal experience with the gel pads but I have heard that they can heat up and become uncomfortable. The wool ( real or fake) can get bunchy pretty quickly.
It can be tough to find a saddle that fits your horse well and makes your own heiny happy. At tack stores, yard sales, whatever, never pas up the chance to park your back end in a different saddle experience.( Just don't tell your regular saddle about these little flings.) Kind of like an equine Cinderella, does this fit? Does this fit? If you butt is happy your posture /form is better ( and more relaxed) and your horse responds better.