They all seem to be connected in one pad like the xbox vontroller which was and still is a pain to use. Games like FF14 that rely heavily on precision button presses will see a noticeable decrese in skill.
They're not, though. It's a similar Dpad that is on all the DS controllers. It is just one piece of plastic, but goes underneath the controller face in the center. The DS controllers have one of the best Dpads ever.