I disagree, for the amiga/atari/c64/cpc the competition pro always was and still is the best and most precise joystick. And you hold it down on the table with the hand that pushes the firebutton anyways.
Concerning speed-link, I want to say it again: The competition pro usb from speed link has lag. It's almost unnoticeable at first but try to win r-type with it and you'll notice.
The 9-pin old school version from speed-link will most probably not have this lag, as it directly connects the microswitches to the 9 pin cable, without electronics in between (unless they seriously overcomplicate things and even mess that one up, e.g. by using crappy autofire circuitry or something!!!).
The Speed-link handling however feels fine to me and should honestly be compared to the full microswitched silver/blue competition pro edition from back in the day. That one had microswitched fire buttons, just like the speed-link. Feels the same to me. The black/red sticks from back then had less travel, I agree. But the blue/silver ones were pretty darn similar to speed-link.
However, that c-clamp that holds the stick in place vertically comes off way to easy in the speed-link version. That means you are required to open it up and re-attach the clamp, a LOT.
If you do a search for vintage gaming stores in usa, you will probably be able to find some cheap original used competition pros. I found mine from an online store in washington. However, they are truly old school, in the sense that I got the ones with no microswitches at all
but heck they still work great. And if those break, you just bend those little metal contacts a bit, no need to replace any microswitches. And microswitches _do_ go bad eventually. Usually faster than one might thing, especially when man-handling the stick. I broke soo many microswitches....