Ok.. My 2 cents worth: current stable includes a pinarello think 2 and a colnago c59. Both have exactly the same set ups (handlebars brakes etc)...wheels I split the usage between both bikes a pair of enve 1.25(tunes) and lightweights. The colnago is such a plush ride.. I love the colnago it's so much more comfortable. That's about all I can say for now
...To go back to the OP, yes, there is something about Colnagos. At 62, I have a lifetime supply of C40s (two brand new never ridden, three more with 500-5,000 km on them) because they're my favourite bike but I'm still considering a C59. I've had or have pretty well all the carbon ones except C59 as well as steel, ti and aluminum. All handle well and predictably. After a crash three years ago that kept me off the bike for 10 months, I want a bike that I feel confident on at speed (one of my local routes has a nice 75 km/hr descent). I'm happy on my Colnagos, my Wilier or my Pegoretti, but sold my Parlees because they just didn't "feel right". Funny, I'd put 20,000+ km on the Parlees before the crash and didn't have that concern.
Pritchet, try one. Compared to Cervelos I've owned, I'd rate my Colnagos as a bit slower handling but predictable as were the Cervelos, heavier but probably a little plusher ride (and my Cervelos were R3 and RS, not one of the S models).
I was wondering if the difference in feel is due to differences in frame construction: one is a monocoque carbon construction and the other is lugged carbon construction.
If we could draw parallels between
1) monocoque carbon frames vs lugged carbon frames and building structure construction with
2) pre-fabricated steel wall frame construction vs post on beam construction and
3) building structure construction with cast-in-place concrete vs pre-fabricated concrete post and beam construction,
there are should be significant differences in frame flexibility and resistance to vibration even though the ultimate building load bearing strength are similar. And, let's not even go into post-tension construction. There aren't that many examples of lugged carbon construction frames nowadays but I believe that there has to be difference in feel.
Perhaps that is why there is a difference in feel between carbon frames that are, more often than not, monocoque construction, and steel frames that are essentially tube on tube construction regardless whether they at lugged, TIG-wielded, or fillet-brazed. I believe that the Colnago C59 may have a hybrid steel frame feel due to the similar construction but different construction material of carbon vs. steel.
The above two posters may be able to share their experiences and bike feel between:
1) monocoque carbon fiber : Cervelo, Parlee Z5 et al, and others
2) lugged carbon fiber : Colnago C59 et al, Parlee Z1
3) lugged metal : steel, titanium
On a side note, I believe that the Parlee Z-Zero may offer a hybrid carbon fiber monocoque and lugged carbon fiber feel due to the construction method.