Dry hopping is all about the aroma and my personal preference is whole leaf. I once split a ten gallon batch and dry hopped one carboy with 2 oz. of whole leaf Amarillo and the other with 2 oz. Amarillo pellets (b/c it was all I could get) and thought the whole leaf had better aroma. Those leaf hops will soak up the wort given time in the carboy.
These days I dry hop in the keg, which makes things really easy. Put the hops is a large paint strainer bag, weigh it down with glass marbles or S/S washers, everything sanitized, of course, and tied off with dental floss. I tie the other end of the floss to the keg post. That way, I can pull them out once the aroma is "enough".
Yeah, in contrast to what you are saying I have had whole leaf amarillo that was obviously not fresh and it gave off more herbal and vegetative favors than floral and grapefruit. As Denny stated, it's going to depend on the freshness. You have no way of knowing how old the pellets you used were or their source compared to your flower hop you used in contrast. My source now on pellet hops has been very, very good as far as aroma and flavor is concerned.