I'm having my Python lesson on Monday, so I'm hoping that we'll be able to clear up the issue with having to press Enter between each stroke of the Sidewinder. Meanwhile, if any of you guys are actually entertaining the notion of purchasing a Sidewinder and turning it into a steno machine, I've found a good source for keytops:
Stenotech Steno Accessories.
You can get 'em in felt for $13, in rubber for $15, and in leather for $26. If this thing really takes off, I might try to arrange a bulk purchasing thing, but for now those are pretty decent prices.
Here's a Google shopping price comparison for the Sidewinder. As you can see, the best deal including shipping seems to be hovering around $60. If you can find a local store that sells 'em, you might be able to get one for a little less, but I'd figure $15 for felt keypads including shipping, $60 plus tax for the Sidewinder, about $80 total. I know it's not nothing, but it's a damn sight better than $4,000. Agreed?