The seat gets faster after awhile, and I find them comfortable. My doctor told me not to ever sit there for more than 3-minutes and it's more than fine for that time.
I've been told it won't hurt the seat to help it down, but I can't confirm that. If someone ever in the middle of the night let the seat drop and woke you up, or a small child ever dropped the seat on a finger, you'd appreciate the soft-close seat.
A different brand white seat would be close, but may not exactly match the curve and have the same overlap or color. Will it be a fashion faux pas? Probably not.