I'll share my experience for what it's worth. My primary riding outfit is a Darien textile jacket and pants combo. The knee/elbow armor consists of a hard shell cup bonded to a rubber foam backing that stiffens on impact but is otherwise soft and flexible (unless the air temp is very cold, but that's another story).
I decided to buy a Vanson combo for, well, just because I wanted something different, I guess. I opted for the fully-perfed jacket and pants, and figured I'd go for max protection in case I ever attended a track day.
I bought the jacket direct from Vanson. It came standard with "street" armor, which is simply soft foam pads. Since this would provide less impact protection than my Aerostich armor, I purchased replacement "GP armor" from my local dealer (they were having a clearance).
Later I ordered the pants from New Enough. They strongly recommended the street armor, saying that the GP armor was for track use and would probably be uncomfortable. Since I already had the GP armor in the jacket, I went with the hard armor for the knees. I went with the street foam armor for the hips since there was no GP option.
The GP armor is definitely more rigid, as you would expect. I only wear the Vanson outfit when I plan to ride, as opposed to riding to a location to hang out, so it's not uncomfortable, but the armor is noticeable. The Darien is less noticeable.
The only comfort issue I experienced was when I accompanied a friend on a mountain ride that lasted about 7 hours, with only a short fuel break. During the last couple of hours of the ride, my knees really began to ache. I had the seat on my KLT in the low position, which pressed my knees firmly into the armor. I raised the seat, which relaxed the bend in my knees a little, but I was glad to get out of the pants at the end of the day. Since then I have left the seat in the upper position and have not had a problem. If I were riding a bike with higher pegs I think long rides might be out of the question on longer rides.
I forgot to mention the back armor. I bought the Vanson back protector. It seems like it would provide good protection, and I am barely aware of it. My only complaint is that it does impede ventilation a little, but hey, if we weren't willing to trade some level of comfort for protection, we wouldn't be wearing protection gear, right?
The CE armor may be a good compromise, but I don't have any experience with it. I found the information on the New Enough Motorcycle Leathers website, www.newenough.com
to be very helpful.