Upright rows with an EZ bar and a slight forward lean feel pretty solid to me. Better as a 'finisher', though, since the weight you can use for these without jerking is pretty limited (at least, in my experience). I find them better suited for higher-rep work and wouldn't put them ahead of shrugs. Definitely wouldn't use them to replace shrugs if I could help it.
How much weight are you using for shrugs? I used to not 'feel' them, either, until I got to working with 5+ plates on them. It's one of those exercises you can pack quite a bit of weight on rather quickly if you set your mind to it, particularly if you aren't doing a heck of a lot to begin with. Once I made the effort to just pile the weight on instead of 'feeling the muscle' and what not, I was finding myself limited more by my ability to breath while holding the weight during higher-rep sets than by my trap/grip strength. I also started getting pretty damn sore traps the day after.
If you are only doing 2 - 3 plates for barbell shrugs, you might want to consider just focusing on driving that weight up as quickly as you can. You just might surprise yourself how quickly the strength comes for that particular exercise.