It's not inconceivable that Dave could get an accurate impression of the ride.
In order of suspension importance.
So the frame itself covers #1, they don't have any funky inflections in the LR curve. The shock was new, so assuming Fox didn't completely screw it up a fresh shock would have low friction. Dave played with air pressure and ran the recommended sag and experimented with more sag, air shock allowing him get it right vs limited coil options.
Last is the blown damping on the shock. Was it the rebound circuit or compression? I think more info other than "blown shock" would shed more light on it. If we break #4 down further I think a blown rebound circuit is going to have greater impact on feel than a blown compression circuit. Maybe Ryan can chime in with more on what was messed up in the shock?