Thanks for the objective and well written comparison. I have the Hurst shifter on my SS and your description of how it shifted; "It took too much force to get it in the gears....it felt like a trans with bad synchronizers" was dead on. Mine feels exactly the same....but I don't have the looseness problem.
My wife hasn't driven it yet (the car is still in winter storage), but surely she will freak out when she does. She rarely drives the car, so this is going to be my call.
I really like the look of the Hurst, but I am concerned about the excessive effort or force required to get it in gear. How is the MGW in that regard?