Just wanted to chime in and say that this thread is both very interesting and also quite revelatory. I've been experimenting with the dynamic range and finding that the effect is very much as you say - actually turning the range down a bit results in enhanced playability, as well as a more realistic overall response.
Like the original poster, my general inclination was usually to turn up the dynamic range slightly in order to heighten the contrast between loud and soft, and (in theory) have more control overall. However I'm now realizing that this can both cause playability issues as well as create a somewhat unnatural response, at least when compared to an acoustic.
As an example in regards to playability, my chief criticism with the VSL Steinway D-274 (which I otherwise adore) is that the playability always seemed a bit off and more difficult to control compared to other instruments - particularly in fast runs, trills, etc. No matter how much I fiddled with the velocity curve and midi response, I couldn't never get it quite right. However, as a result of this thread I've discovered that simply dialing down the dynamic range to around 85-90% causes these issues to go away almost entirely, with very little downside.
In terms of response, although I learned to play on acoustic pianos, I've had to use digital pianos pretty much exclusively for the past few years. A few months ago, I had the chance to play on a new acoustic grand for the first time in a while, and the first thing I noticed was how much louder the median sound was overall, and also how much more difficult it was to play very softly in comparison with the digital instruments I had become accustomed to.
I know that not all acoustic pianos play the same, and that there is quite a large variance in terms of key weight, touch response, dynamic range, etc., but it does seem to me that most digital keyboards and VSTs create a rather artificial sense of dynamic control in comparison with acoustics.
Personally, I have no opinion as to whether or not this is a good or bad thing - I basically treat digital pianos as their own class of instruments with distinct advantages and disadvantages, and the goal for me is not necessarily to recreate the exact experience of an acoustic in every way.
But if you do need to go back and forth between digital and acoustic on a regular basis, or have the goal of replicating an acoustic as closely as possible, I think it makes sense to experiment with the dynamic range in order to more closely approximate the real life experience.
Also, if you have instruments that exhibit playability issues similar to what I encountered with the VSL Steinway, it may be worth adjusting the dynamic range to see if this helps.