Ha yeah, the braking is certainly pretty bad compared to lower end modern stuff, and I'm just waiting to stick my fingers in the spokes or throw myself over the handlebar by changing gear. Some of the modern lower end road stuff (Tiagra cranks….) weigh as much as a small house though.
Braking can be much improved via a modern lever upgrade and a set of Kool-Stop salmon pads, but there's only so much you can do before having to throw aesthetics and budget out the window in favour of long-reach dual-pivot calipers.
Shimano took dead aim at Campagnolo Nuovo Record with 6hun Ay-rab, and they did an admirable job. Both gruppos strada-style cranks suffered from stress riser issues along the sharp edges of the spider where it meets the crankarm - inspect them regularly for cracks and if you're feeling nerdy, take some sandpaper and radius the edge of the spider. That said, they can snap at the arms, too. I broke Morgman's when I borrowed his Sekine. :D
Y U beef with Tiagra? 10spd 4600 is nice stuff; truly the epitome of affordable excellence. The price jump to 105 cranks is hideous.