Based on what I have read of Leigh’s teachings, I would reply that all jhana has rapture as a factor but not all rapture (pleasant feelings) in meditation has jhana as a factor.
The Buddhist commentaries mention three degrees of concentration (samadhi), which will have three commensurate degrees of rapture, namely, momentary (khanika), neighborhood (upacaara) & attainment (appanā). Many experienced meditators, who have no allegiance to the commentaries or Visuddhimagga, have experienced these three degrees of concentration & rapture and thus do not take dispute with the commentaries here.
That SN 36.11 (for example) states the in & out breathing is stilled in the 4th jhana presents the case that the Anapanasati Sutta is on the level of neighborhood (upacaara) concentration since awareness of breathing is described at every stage of anapanasati.
The early works of the Thai monk Buddhadasa include the three degrees of samadhi & in more recent lectures referred to different degrees of samadhi:
In our practice of step four of Anapanasati, it is not necessary to try to enter jhana completely. In the practice of Anapanasati those very refined levels of concentration are not necessary. We only need to have a sufficient and appropriate level of concentration to continue with our practice, that is, enough samadhi that there are the feelings of piti and sukha (contentment and happiness). We need to use piti and sukha in the next steps of our study. If you can go on into jhana, into the material absorptions (rupa-jhana), that will be useful. It will make the next steps easier. Even if you do not reach jhana, as long as there is some piti and sukha you are doing fine…When the feelings piti and sukha are strong enough for the mind to feel them clearly, this is sufficient concentration to be able to go on to step five. If you enter the first, second, third, and fourth rupa-jhana that is more splendid yet. But samadhi sufficient to experience piti and sukha distinctly is enough for step four.
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa - Anapanasati Mindfulness with Breathing
What exactly is a “sutta follower”?
I recall the suttas delineate Buddhists as arahants, non-returners, once-returners, stream-entersrs, dhamma-followers & faith-followers. So where to these “sutta followers” fit within this six-fold schemata?
In Pali, there are three terms: Pariyatti, Patipatti, Pativedha. Possibly you may be missing two of these three and, as a helpful hint: ‘not the 1st’.
It seems the “idea” of “deep absorption” is an idea of you & your friends since the ‘ekaggata’ may not preclude expansiveness, exaltedness & clarity. ‘Ekaggata’ & ‘nimitta’ may not necessarily infer awareness concentrated in a manner as pictured below. ‘Ekaggata’ may possibly be like the axle that holds a wheel in place, where the mind’s awareness is represented by the wheel.
Please note that the descriptions of jhana in MN 119, for example, may not necessarily mean the meditator is aware of all of the rapture that saturates the entire nervous system of the entire physical body.