I always prferred the feel of a tight pot with a bit of resistance to the turning action. Feels sturdy that way and I associated it with quality. So when I got my CU22 not long who I immediately thought the pots were the only spot that felt cheap on the guitar. Then I read that it’s normal and by design so I accepted it. And now....I’ve come to really like it actually as it makes on the fly volume and tone changes so easy and effortless. Just an easy brush of the hand to adjust....I find myself using the controls to fine tune now more than ever because of it.
I always associated low quality pots with more resistance BUT also not consistent enough either. By consistent, I mean pots that don't have a full working range as you turn. A Volume pot that cuts the volume before you reach zero, maybe as soon as 3 or tone pots that don't seem to make a difference after turning down below a certain point. It bugs me when reviewers don't talk about the Tone/Volume pots other than to say a guitar as them and often go from full volume to zero in between the talky bits - and they never touch the tone pot at all - other than too check its fully up to max. Its almost as if these have no relevance at all and just a 'mute' switch at best.
Its been a while since I played a 'cheap' guitar with cheap electronics so I am not sure if this has changed now. Maybe they are better than I remember but I do think the actual knobs are not aesthetically pleasing and conducive to one sweaty little finger use. It doesn't bother me so much these days as I don't play live, not running around and getting all sweaty anymore but I found those smooth lumps of plastic - the ones that are equally as round at the top as the bottom - with a more resistive pot to be a bit more of a pain. An elastic band twisted around them helps.
If I were designing a knob, I think I would make it with textured rubber around the middle with a thicker or more protruding marker or a plastic one with the grooves but one part protruding more so you can easily feel exactly where the knob is positioned - its a bit like those Chicken Head Knobs but far less obvious. The 'beak' part being a more protruding line of plastic/rubber so you can feel exactly how the knob is positioned. You will get used to rolling back the tone/volume to the same place just by feel - not that you can't do it by ear too of course.
Too me, the frictionless pots feel like quality - smooth, fast and incredibly easy to roll. Its like having a ball bearing ring instead of something that is rubbing against something, feeling like you need to lubricate to make it smoother. Maybe its because all the guitars I played had some friction and moving up to the Core PRS, a Premium guitar, was the first guitar I had that had such smooth and frictionless pots. My first PRS was the 594 and its so easy to roll both volumes up or down with just 1 motion. On my Les Paul, with a sweaty hand, it wasn't easy to roll down both with one motion.
The only thing I would prefer, is that if all the Push/pull pots were push/push pots and I think I would prefer that to the mini-toggles but the mini-toggles are better than the Push/Pull pots. Mini-toggles have their advantage over a push/push pot in that you can see which position they are in at a quick glance and thus know it the Pups are full or split but a push/push pot is quicker to switch and also looks less 'complicated'.