BTW, a 'stick won't make you play better. You'll be dying so much it's going to be depressing until you get used to it, but then, you'll notice you'll only play as good as your skill at that game is.
I've now spent few days with my new love, the Namco Arcade Stick, and I'm honestly surprised my "getting used to it" -phase was quite short. My first few games with it were mostly finding a comfortable button set-up and a good grip, now I've already made good progress on the games I'm currently playing. I do feel the stick has decreased my reaction time some.
At first I kept the stick in my lap while playing, today I moved the table in front of me and placed it there; works much better, only my right wrist starts hurting a bit after a while since it's at an odd angle. I'll probably try to find a stool that's a tad higher than the table so I can play with maximum comfort.