Did you have the suspension on the Giant Roam locked up? There should be a knob to change the stiffness. The suspension should make the ride a bit squishy at least up front.
I don't have suspension and a lot of the time riding over rough roads, I just lift myself up a bit and let the bike bounce and let my knees take up the movement.
You are likely to see a lot of posts about Treks, Specialized, and Giant because they are the three largest bicycle manufacturers.
I think even if you go with a Trek DS or Neko, the ride won't be drastically different from the Giant Roam. Perhaps let some of the air out of the tires. Maybe you can get the bike shop to trade you tires for something like 700x42 or 700x45 to soften things up a bit more.
Last edited by jsdavis; 04-14-12 at 11:03 PM.