I’ve never heard of anybody in the past few years soldering arcade parts like Sanwa or Seimitsu buttons to the PCB.
Hori and Mad Catz are aware that people like to mod their joysticks and repair/replace buttons, too.
As far as the PCB is concerned – and knowing Hori’s past record with its prestige joysticks (the HRAP’s) – it’s probably common ground, too.
Every HRAP joystick that I’ve owned – including the Tekken 5 and Arcana Heart 2 variants – has had a common ground PCB.
I don’t think that we’ve seen the last of the HRAP V cases, either. They’ll continue to exist alongside the Noir cases just like the Mad Catz TE and Pro cases are co-existing.
We’ve seen a lot less of the old Astrocade-style case Hori used in the past year (the case used for the HRAP 1-3 line as well as their licensed variants) but even that case has popped up recently as a pre-order for Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Prologue. Whether that’s the last hurrah for the HRAP 3 line I don’t know… I wouldn’t count the Astrocade case out, though. There are still a lot of people that prefer the old style cases.