Ive used Swingtips quite a lot and heres what works for me most of the time:
I dont like leads that are too light, if the waters not extremely shallow and the fish extremely cautious i go with a 1/2 oz minimum, rather 1 oz. The light lead seems to get moved during the bite and that for me results in worse indication.
I also dont like swing tips that are too light if not absolutely necessary. Even my favourite, kind of heavyish swintip is more sensitive then a quiver tip in my humble opinion, but the lighter tips give me to much indication so that i tend to hit early.
The short hard pulls are usually small fish in my waters and i rarely strike them (not much sense in it anyway as you say). The slower and steadier movements are mostly bigger fish and should normally result in fish. I strike when the tip shows a distinct steady movement (i put my hand on the rod when any indication shows).
Dont know if that helps, as said, just my experiences.
Oh, and what helped me alot was to keep baits and hooks on the smallish side to ensure that the fish got it all in when you strike.
For example, on a float i might use a big worm on a size 4 or even 2 hook for carp, while on the swintip id rather use half a big worm or a small worm on a size6-8 hook.
...Don't alter my altar
don't desecrate my shrine
My church is the water
and my home is underneath the shady pines...
(William Elliot Whitmore - Hymns for the hopeless)