A high compression, large displacement motor is ALWAYS going to feel more responsive and have better low-end response.
My EJ20 accellerates well at 2000rpm and up. I do try to keep the rpms up above 2000 though. Driving an engine, any engine, with a high load/low rpm situation is unhealthy for it. Why drive at 1500 rpm in 5th when you could be driving at 2-3k rpm in 3rd or 2nd?