The increase in tactility from NF placement is not remotely debatable in my experience, move more air in close proximity to the listening position and perceived intensity goes up. Achieving an equivalent effect from subs further away requires *much* more output, is a different sensation and requires SPL a fair way above my usual levels to get there. Note that I am talking from practical experience of adding/dialling in NF subs in my room.
Is this true for the entire subwoofer range, including ULF? Or is it only true for a particular part of the range? If you believe this is true for ULF, is it possible that you are just feeling the relatively higher levels of harmonic distortion? Also, unless your NF subs are dual-opposed, how do you know you aren't just feeling vibration transmitted directly from the subs to your seat through the floor?
I have my own experience in this area. I got better tactile sensation by using near-field MBMs that handle 50 Hz and up together with subs placed at the front of the room to handle 50 Hz and below than I did using the same subs run full-range either up front or near-field alone. The subs are tuned to 18 Hz or so, and I've heard/felt output from them down to 12 Hz at the lowest. My impression is that the tactile feeling in the 12-20 Hz range was better with the subs up front than with them near-field. However, the improvement was more pronounced in the 20-45 Hz range where they gained a lot of headroom over the near-field placement.
overall it seems to boil down to;
1) is more output from subs at the front from ~9-16Hz more important than more output from ~10-30Hz NF?
2) are there negative effects from ported in the 15-30Hz range?
3) will a pro style woofer be materially better than a UXL in the 60-100Hz range?
my guess is this reduces down to option 1 as the main point of difference
I think the answers to all of these are "it depends".
If for whatever reason you feel more tactile sensation from the same SPL over the 10-30 Hz region with a sub placed NF than up front and if you want to feel more of that sensation, then I think you'll want more capability back there. Why not?
An 18 Hz ported sub will be prone to power compression close to the tune but will probably offer lower distortion at levels approaching the saturation point. Is that better or worse? It depends on a lot of details.
Will a pro sub sound better in the 60-100 Hz range? Hypothetically, a pro style driver benefits from higher efficiency over that range and possibly lower and/or more linear inductance. The higher efficiency will only help if you are pushing the sub to levels where power compression comes into play. Inductance is a stickier issue. Undoubtedly, inductance can cause distortion and harm transient response at high power levels and/or high excursion levels. But does inductance affect linearity at lower levels? I haven't seen definite proof of this, but if this is the case then a sub driver with lower and/or more linear inductance could definitely make a difference.
As another idea. What if you invest in Crowson transducers before making the decision about which way to go with the subs? If the Crowsons gave you all the tactile sensation you were after, how would that affect your decision here?