Pad to Stick transition.

After a ton of deliberation and overall procrastination on my part, I finally decided to pick up an arcade stick. It came in today! 

I was trying to get a general feel out for it and such and dayum, It's fucking hard as shit on a first timer. I mean there are some simple combos that I just can't get out (read: landing a follow up after a jump in connects). Everything still feels very foreign.
Any stick users out there have any tips? Tricks? Any other people who were pad now gone to the dark side offer any personal guidance? I would love to hear from you guys.
Anyway I'm going back to bashing myself amongst the rocks until I get a feel for this $130 (worth it) contraption.