I never play with joysticks in my lap… I always put them on a desk or (more often than not) a box when I sit on the floor. More comfortable to me that way.
As far as Seimitsu goes, I’ve had mixed experiences with their product.
I really, really like the LS-32-01 but want to try the LS-40-01 and LS-56-01 joysticks, too.
As far as their buttons, I don’t care for most Seimitsu buttons. The only ones I’ve bought that I like are the Pearls (PS-14-P) but I’m willing to try the ultra-thin PS-15s. These are the Seimitsus that are closest in feel to the Sanwa OBSF-30 series.
I had PS-14-G’s in my HRAP 3 SE but I gradually started to hate them over time and am going to replace these buttons (which I sold months ago) with PS-15’s when I can afford it.
The Sanwa OBSF-30’s really are among the most sensitive and comfortable buttons on the market. They really helped extend my gameplay time. Before, stock buttons (the crap Hori uses on its regular HRAP and licensed HRAP lines) hurt my fingers and I could play 10 minutes tops with stock buttons. Now, I’ve got no problems playing a half hour or more with the OBSF’s.
The one Sanwa product that I play with that I have mixed feelings on is the JLF. It’s a good joystick for modern 3-D fighters like SF IV but is horrible for the older 2-D fighters. It’s just too loose, IMHO, and even putting in another spring doesn’t help much in my case. I’m sort of expecting better results with tighter tension, short throw joysticks like the LS-40 and LS-56 series. I’ve gotten so-so results with the LS-32 but even that seems better for the older games than the JLF.
Not much you can do with stripped top bolts (they’re called cap socket screws) other than replace. The previous stick owner didn’t use the right tool or doesn’t understand how to use an Allen wrench. (A lot of people are cheapskates and just refuse to buy the right tools and they wonder why their screws get ruined!)
You could contact Mad Catz and see whether they’ll send you replacement cap sockets for the TE, or like you said, get replacement metric cap sockets from a hardware.
I’ve never seen cap sockets in a hardware store that match the OEM cap sockets, though. They always have smaller heads (accept 2.5 size metric hex/Allen keys) even when the length is correct. They still hold faceplates and plexis well on the TE, though.