I never understood the comfort that folks supposedly feel in western saddles until I was introduced to the wonder of padded seats, lol. I think it's all in what you're used to though. I inherited a couple of older English saddles (a dressage and a cc) from my boyfriend's mom and the seats were hard as rocks! Horrible creatures. That's probably because I've been primarily riding in my Wintec Isabell dressage saddle for many years now!
The first couple of times that I REALLY rode in western saddles were at the trail riding place that my friend's dad used to own. I don't remember what the seats were like, but I remember them not being particularly comfortable. Since then I had ridden in a western saddle a couple of times, and again didn't find it too nice. Then I tried out a Circle Y equitation saddle with a padded seat that was super comfy! Unfortunately, the seat was just too big for me so I sent it back to its owner. I just bought a Guffey barrel saddle with a padded seat and it's nice! A fun little saddle that rivals the comfort of the Circle Y.
If I ever see a Circle Y equitation saddle of similar style that is in decent condition and within my price range I'll have to jump on it, but the Guffey was too good of a deal to pass up.