I was at GameCrazy today, and it just so happens that they are also having a SF4 tournament at most every store, and guess what, its on the 15th, same day you can buy the game? :wtf:
Apparently, there is no actual street release date for the sticks or the game, so as soon as it arrives, it goes up for sale. The store I was at in Federal Way is planning for a Feb. 15th arrival (although they may only be able to sell at midnight the 16th) and there will be a tournament as soon as it arrives.
They also have TE sticks still available for pre-order, and you can use whatever controller you want in the tournament, including ones you buy that day. It seemed like a very laxed tournament, with the current store manager deciding the format for each store, and no pre-announced prizes, but they said it would likely be a free copy of the game for first, or a 30 dollar gift certificate.
So check out your local GameCrazy and ask about it. They have sign ups, and you can probably find a TE stick if you were looking.
Edit: Posting this up in the SF4 forums.