The first thing you notice is how much thought they put into the packaging box. They tried to imitate the official Madcatz Street Fighter IV TE box with the magnetic cover and all, but it can be worse.
The art on the actual stick isn't the greatest. Again, it's trying to imitate the original, but oh well.
Out of the box, the controller feels quite cheap. The joystick has a bit of play in the neutral position, probably because the spring is a bit loose. There are also times where if I flick the stick in one direction, it'll swing back and register the opposite direction. This could probably be fixed by stretching the spring to make it tighter. However, there's the option of taking the stock joystick out altogether and putting in a Sanwa JLF joystick as the mounting holes practically have the same orientation.
The buttons feel kind of mushy. They only register until you depress the button pretty low, and they have a bit of play within the button housing. However, these also can be swapped out with some Sanwa buttons. Be warned though, the holes are about 28-29mm in diameter so a bit of sanding will be necessary to make them 30mm.
Overall, the stick is passable in its stock form. It's big enough and works as a nice beginner arcade controller, but it can be made much, much better by swapping out the joystick and buttons. Some soldering work will need to be done, but it'll be worth it in the end. For more modding info, refer to the Shoryuken Forums (can't post link).
Alternatively, you can buy the Hori Fighting Stick 3 for PS3 (which is a tiny bit cheaper). Modding that one requires a bit more dremmeling work though. Ideally, a Madcatz SF4 SE arcade controller would be the easiest to work with (drop in replacement for everything), but they're difficult to find for around $50-60.