The suspension did its job. I would say it was better. It certianly didn't make me a Dakar rider though, so I'm a little disappointed.
$2000 better? I couldn't tell. The harsh bumps are absorbed better, and it seems more stable. It has some "bling" appeal.
Some upgrades are such a mixed bag. I'm trying different things and seeing what happens. When I'm old and wise like you, I'll know better.