this is kinda question for someone that has the spyder expess but when it starts it asks you to tick the types of variations you can make on your monitor: contrast, brightness and backlight. i want too sure on the backlight one so i left that unticked... could that be a reason for the high contrast?
You should read the on-screen instructions. They're concise and they're there for a reason.
LCD monitors do not have brightness or contrast controls. They only have back lighting, so make sure that's the only option that is ticked. Also, make sure that you're calibrating the screen with the caddy attached. There's a piece of green transparent plastic on the caddy that goes over the sensor. If that isn't there, the resulting profile is going to make your monitor look greenish.
I've found that after profiling, all the photos that I'd edited before calibration appear really dark and contrasty. The reason for this is simple. Before calibration, the gamma of your LCD is usually going to be really high and the contrast fairly low. When you edit your photo, you then try to compensate for this by darkening your photos, bumping up saturation, and increasing contrast. If you sent your photos to print, you'll see that it's substantially different from what you see on screen.
You're probably seeing something similar. I'd trust the calibration device, assuming that you've calibrated it correctly.