Knowing the scope of the performance I am looking for -- at least as good as OEM factory fresh, no real benefit in 5X the cost as I do not have any intention of putting the bike on a track.
I've owned many Japanese bikes with horrifically bad OEM suspension. My biggest issue is normally the rising rate springs, which compromise any damping available. Far better to have a linear spring, so the rates are constant. Even better, if you can get rid of the rising rate in the linkage. More useful consistent performance over a wider range of wheel movement....
Band-aid-ing a later model OEM shock assembly was enough to tell me that the '09 was shot. Can I get it better than it has ever been in the time I have owned the bike? Pretty sure that's a yes. would it be anywhere near as good as the Ohlins I had on my last bike? Of course not. Better, to the tune of cost of used purchase+ plus refresh+shipping? that depends on usage, IMHO. How close does that cost come, to buying factory fresh after market? Enough to warrant doing that, effectively better half-assed approach?
You say there's no benefit in spending 5x the cost of an OEM shock...but you said yourself that you noticed the difference between what you have now and your old bike with the Ohlins on it.
Sounds like it's worth it to me.
Buy a used shock for 500ish, you'll have 700 into it by the time it's refreshed. Keep the OEM pogo stick on a shelf, if/when you sell the bike, put the OEM shock back on, sell the Ohlins for the same 4-500 you paid for it. So you're out the cost of the refresh at the end of the day...big whoop.
Side note: Most of the things we spend money on in this sport is a one way expense. Tires, most aftermarket doo-dads, shit like that. But hard parts, IE, quality motorcycle stands (Pit Bull), the Pit Bull TRS system for those that transport their bikes a lot, after market fork kits, shocks...those things really don't lose value. Yes, there will always be that new to used price loss, but if you're buying stuff used from the get go, the end out of pocket cost is negligible. For example, I have 3 Pit Bull TRS systems...most people would be like "holy shit, you've got $900 wrapped up in bike transport stuff alone"...but so what? If I ever sold out of the sport, I could sell them for $700-ish. So $200 for me to transport 3 bikes in the most secure way possible for a combined total of 80-100,000 miles over the course of 6+ years of being in the sport...money very well spent.