I recall reading that thread. Maybe part of the problem is the subjective nature of verbs like "soft", "hard", "harsh", "clunky", etc. There should be a definite, firm, shift, but shifts shouldn't be harsh, shake the car, etc. The shift shouldn't make any noise.
My '82 at one point would shifted very abruptly and harsh. It basically slammed into gear. Would jerk you back or forward depending on if you were coming or going. That's not normal.
I got it fixed. Now, under moderate to full acceleration it will shift firmly but a bit harder than modern cars, but not harsh. Under normal/slow acceleration it can sometimes be very very soft and fluid. Sometimes I feel like I can get it to shift more firmly by the amount of go pedal I use.
2005 230 K, 26k-77k (sold)
1982 300 TD, 167k-226k
1982 240 D, 308k-327k (sold)
1998 E 320, 120K-141K