I hear there is a fella 'round these parts named Bojangles that does an awfully respectable job on these seats... Hiya James
I also hear that non-suede models can be had for a sight less than $400
As for ass rubbin', I guess that is predicated by your ass... I have a rather delicate tushie and was uncomfortable in less than 15 minutes when riding an '03.
See my Mista 'Jangles seat here http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57003
Lots of others in ADVrider as well if ya search for 'em