I’ve played on the PS1/DS2/DS3 pads and have done pretty well. If you feel comfortable on a pad, then go for it. Enough practice will eventually iron out most execution issues, regardless of the type of controller. Also, things like tapping twice in a direction quickly (dashes, backdashes, air dashes) is much easier on a pad as opposed to a stick.
Xtokki converters for PS2–>Xbox work very well. No introduced lag, no dropped inputs, none of that stuff. PS2 pad is miles better than the xbox360 pad.
Your other option is to simply buy an aftermarket xbox360 pad, such as a PDP or Madcatz controller, and use that.
Of course, you can always make the conversion to arcade sticks, but this requires a lot of practice to get used to the new control scheme.
Be aware that pads have a tendency to not last as long as arcade sticks, in terms of wear-and-tear, and are a bit more difficult to modify and repair. If you’re fine with this, then I say go with the converter, and just take a chance at learning to repair your pads or simply buying new ps2 controller replacements.
get a stick and learn to uses it. you will be happy for it in the long run, since you can alway have someone mess with the guts to make it work with new systems. but if you stick to pads, goto second hand stores like good will that take donations. i always see ps1 ans psn pads in there all the time.
Xtokki does lag. I don’t know why everyone claims that it doesn’t when there have been no tests showing that. It’s just been accepted since no one has bothered to sit down and really prove it I guess.
I bought an Xtokki converter somewhere between a year or two ago and tested it versus a Hori PCB, Hori was consisently faster. I didn’t have the equipment to definitely prove it back then. I do now, so I guess I could run it with an LED and high speed camera if anyone is interested.
I spent a lot of time trying to find a good PS2 controller converter to any other system. They all lag to varying degrees. If having a lagless setup matters to you, you probably don’t want to be converting a PS2 pad to anything else.
If 1f lag doesn’t bother you that much (and it clearly doesn’t bother most people in the FGC since a laggy monitor and a laggy Madcatz PCB are the standard) then the XTokki should be fine. Certainly no worse than just playing on a TE.