Actually, I use soundfonts almost exclusively, although I admit to using some samples (but only when absolutely necessary). The secret seems to be to vary the velocity from note to note slightly in your sequencer. Of course, this means going in and programming the drum track for each hit (although there are some software packages that will randomize this for you).
I sometimes spend hours working on the drum track; much more so than the rest of the song, but then I'm probably the world's worst drummer with real drums, so maybe it's just me. In the end my drum tracks sound pretty convincing, even to me!
Besides, don't you want to spend some quality time with the drum editor in your sequencer?