Of course i was exaggerating about ch engineers, the pots are similar but not identical. Pots in my TM flcs failed, by fail i don't mean only spiking I mean that after very little time the rivets that held the soldering contact in place were so loose that was impossible to fix them. The spiking instead was horrible right out of the box so had to lubricate and clean them the very day i bought the F-16 FLCS , calibrating the thing was a nightmare (but i loved it anyway).
I workaround the problem of not finding the correct ones by using modified cheap stock 500k pots with no spiking or problem at all (I contacted Bob who was very helpful a lot of time back then), my TM wheel pedal pots suffered the same issue.
CH pots after intensive use (even transplanted now to a my FLCS) never gave me any problem at all just the joystick was too light.
I love TM stuff but i always thought that CH put more care in their products (They just don't give me the right feel when i use them), But 8 bit of resolution is really too low (i didn't consider the "old venerable" design, but even low end products of Saitek
line have better resolution) i took for granted that the design was keep up with the time standard, on the software I really can't comment because I owned game port version of both the controllers and I tended to use fox2 at the time and in the end i gave the CH stuff to a friend.