I and a colleague, got one of these HFSignals kits, as sourcing the parts, getting them cheap enough and then doing all the building, was just out of our time span. Having the main board built and tested, for the very reasonable cost, was by far the better idea.
On receiving the parts, I too, was disappointed in the 4mm diameter shaft pots and the very small ptt switch. I decided, there and then, to purchase better, more normal, 6mm shaft pots and adapt an old mic with built in ptt, I had form an old PC. Since then I have added and adapted, other parts to make this a better radio more able to do what I want it too. As for building and modifying, all required info was on the HFSignals website, you just had to look. This group also gave a lot of help, if you asked, so very easy and fun to build.
All in all I am very pleased with the result and cost. I could not get a radio like this, for this cost and to have built and modified this I have the fun of building and the glee of when it works. For a few hundred pounds I can buy a better kit, but for that price I cna also buy secondhand radios.
I think HFSignals have done great. I may make the uBIX version, also from HFSignals, as this has more than one band on it from the start, so I think may be easier to build, as a duel ban radio. I also like the idea of the bigger screen with the other sketches you have discussed here.
For now I have a good project radio and fun. My advice is to look into what you purchased this kt for. The fun of building and experimentation, or just a cheep way to get a radio?
That's my tupence worth, so have fun 73s Vaughn