That fork sounds brutal. I think I’d rather have no damper than an inconsistent one.
It would be nice if low end forks came with a high-end compatible chassis (I.e straight 32mm or 34mm stanchions). As you mentioned with finding an old Saint calliper for the brakes, you could probably find old high-end dampers and springs to upgrade the suspension from old forks with worn stanchions or leaky air-springs. Suntour could ship their fork with the double-springs and plastic top caps, and the buyer could easily find new internals from friends or the buy’n’sell. Suntour would get the added bonus of their name still being on the chassis too.