I had a 408 in my 70 Cougar and it was perfect for that car...
Like you said, tons of torque and this thing would rev fast with the AFR heads (205).
A friend from Belgium was in town with a 68 Fasback that he just bought. His car needed a complete restoration but was rust free with no drive train.
He made me an offer I couldn't refuse on my barely broken in 408 so I yanked it out of the Cougar and put it in his car so it was drivable and easy to ship (roll on/roll off).
I did a quick 342 stroker build for the ole Cougar since I had all the parts in my shop except for the stroker kit itself, had a brand new beefed up block and 185 AFR heads with all the 5.0 accessories.
I'm slowly building back a 408 again because the 342 just doesn't cut it for me and this time I have a T56 to go behind it (The 5spd Tremec is showing its age).
All fun stuff.