I TOOK THE PLUNGE AND MODIFIED MY XBOX 360 CONTROLLER!
I'm too impatient to wait for Microsoft to issue an improved Xbox 360 controller sometime in the next 6 months (Look how long it took them to start implementing the new 45nm "Falcon" chip thingy). I want a satisfying and fully functioning controller NOW darn it! I had been reading up on a lot of controller modification info on the internet and I got a little brave... So I made this crappy youtube video to show you guys what I did to make my gaming experience SO MUCH BETTER. It is a little rough though, but it does the trick! So far so good. I've been enjoying a much improved version of Bionic Commando Rearmed and Soul Caliber IV. Hopefully this will hold me over until a nice refined controller with a fully functioning d pad officially gets released. I just got SO frustrated with that damn d pad so many times, especially in games where precise timing is very important. Even when navigating the Xbox Live Dashboard it can be a pain.
AND A LITTLE DISCLAIMER
Mod your controller at your own risk! This method worked for me, but if you are not careful you can probably break your controller.