I've discovered that Softimage has some absolutely incredible preset simulators/parameters that can give you some really nice results very quickly. Using the "soft body" and "gravity" simulators, I was able to create a very simple ball bounce almost entirely automatically; complete with a very nice squash and stretch effect. They work a little like After Effects' animation presets I suppose, with a whole plethora of parameters you can customise to get the desired effect.
Obviously it's far from perfect; it's far too slow, subsequently lacking any real feeling of weight, but it just goes to show how quickly you can get a very nice result with this program. It's no replacement for hand-crafted animation of course, but it's a real time saver and certainly worth knowing what all these options do!
I may go back and tweak the settings to see if I can adjust the speed of the drop and the impact with the surface.