To be honest i wonder about contractions that "started strong and stayed that way". I've only had one baby so hardly a wealth of experience, but my contractions only didn't start strong in retrospect. I mean, they were really strong until they got stronger and then i realised they hadn't been that strong at ALL, know what i mean?
I'm pretty sure the person i mentioned FELT her contractions were co-ordinated (or normal in terms of sensations described), but the care providers (a homebirth midwife initially, then after transfer an obstetrician and 2 hospital midwives) came to the conclusion they weren't because they didn't dilate the cervix. For what it's worth i never felt any sensation except at my cervix, leading my midwife to be convinced i was a) not in labour and b) somewhat dramatic, right up until my daughter's head began to come out.
As for emotional signposts, i'm not sure about that either. I have had midwives tell me that they relateto dilation (thusno dilation = no signposts) but i hit transition at 25% effaced, 1-2cm dilated (shouting for an epidural, begging for it to stop, saying i was going to have "a normal bloody bath without all this rubbish" (while labouring in the bath)) - i had JUST been given my only VE at this point. DD was born, despite me roaring rather than pushing for te whole 2nd stage, 2.5hours later. So for me transition was a true signpost to proximity of birth when my cervix didn't appear to be.
This is all useless info i know, but i'm rather enjoying the discusion! :)