But I also don't want to be dishonest in the sense that I am simply riding along keeping a connection and offering just enough resistance to feel out where they are directing me, and falling into the space I think they are trying to place my body. This is generally the uke I aspire to be, but if a person were to specifically ask for a strong attack, to me this wouldn't be very honest on my part.
In our dojo, if tori/nage is a kyu grade, this is what uke is supposed to do (give a clear initial attack and after that just keep the connection but not resist). Of course sometimes people may agree between themselves to try something different but this is the basic set up. The idea is that uke develops flexibility and sensitivity and tori has a chance to practice tha form while staying relaxed. Staring to resist technique at that level often results in tension on both parts.
What uke hopefully will develop over time is the ability to feel openings even though they aren't expected to take advantage of then yet at that point. Sometimes what we do is if uke feels their balance is given back, uke can just stand up straight and say so "hey, I'm back on my two feet here". The thing to be careful of is that it shouldn't take any extra effort to stand up again, otherwise you're struggling against tori's technique. Also I think taking compliant ukemi while mentally listing all the places where you are given your balance and control back is quite valuable practice.
After shodan things change... I'm a nidan now and basically people in the dojo have permission to give as strong and wily an attack as they like. I'm expected to be sensible enough to say so if things get too rough for me to handle.