My MSF instructor was emphatic about using the pegs when encountering potholes and unavoidable objects in your path. I developed the habit from that point on, and it does help you maintain control. It also takes your weight of the handlebars when negotiating loose surfaces and tight turns.I can stand on mine. That's why I designed them with a three point mount...
I thought the Rebel's foot peg location was perfect; but then I'm only 5'8".Your MSF instructor was right, but most cruisers can't be ridden that way. In order to have a low seat height, and upright riding position, and room for your legs, the pegs must be mounted way out front.
I know this is 11 years old and all. But do you have picturesI happen to think the stock Vulcan 750 seat is the most comfortable seat of any motorcycle I've ever had, including a couple of early '80s Goldwings. I can ride on it all day with no pain at all. It does help considerably to change from the rider pegs to the passenger pegs once in a while to prevent leg cramps.
A Corbin seat is more comfortable than a stock seat in most cases, but the price is ridiculous. I admit I did put a Corbin seat on my new '09 Ninja 500, and along with foam grips and GenMar handlebar risers, it made the bike a LOT more comfortable. I can have my sportbike and ride it without serious pain.
As far as the Rebel, make sure the problem is actually with the seat. The Rebel seat is not the most comfortable seat in the world (that would be the stock Vulcan 750 seat), but many people condemn the seat when most of the problem is actually with the pegs. For some reason, Honda chose to put the pegs way too far back for your average sized person (I'm 6' with a 34" inseam), and there is simply no place to put your legs. Your legs get all bent up between the seat and the pegs, which not only causes leg pain, but changes your position on the seat from what it should be. I found that simply moving the pegs 4" farther forward completely solved the problem. The seat still does not compare to the Vulcan 750, but I never expected it to. I can ride all day on it though, with just a few short breaks, like stopping for gas and food, with very little pain.
If you mostly ride on short trips or around town, your best bet would be to fabricate brackets to relocate the pegs, shifter, and rear brake a few inches forward, which is what I did. There are various ways of doing this, several people here have done it, and everybody did theirs slightly differently. If you mostly ride on the highway where you don't use the shifter and brake much, you could probably get away with just using highway pegs (don't get the motormount ones from MC Enterprises though, unless you can figure out a way to weld them on, they will not work). You want the highway pegs to be forward of the stock pegs, but not much higher. If they are 10" higher, they will b e worse than the stock pegs. Once you get the pegs moved out front a bit, your position on the seat will change too, and it will feel a lot more comfortable. Jerry.