None of my joy-cons have ever had "stiff" sticks. There was always some level of wobble to them, unlike the pro controller's joystick. I imagine the "drift" people are referring to is something I haven't yet experienced, but probably will at some point. I remember my early Gamecube controllers all suffered from this problem, and the little "circular grippy pattern" on the surface of the joysticks would also rub off. Gamecube controllers that I purchased later in the lifecycle of the console never had this problem, so I assume Nintendo fixed it.
I've always felt the joy con sticks were too small and flimsy for my liking, but in the interests of keeping the console slim, maybe that was a compromise that had to be made. The sticks don't have as much range of motion as most traditional controllers would have with a joy stick.
I have been experiencing this weird issue lately while playing Streets of Rogue where my character will start walking to the left when playing as P2 in a local co-op game. I swapped my joy cons and the problem persisted, so I'm not sure if it's a problem with the game or maybe I'm not fully understanding the controls. I guess I just haven't looked into it enough to figure out what's happening as I haven't noticed it yet with other games.
(Edit: also, anyone elses' VGC session get killed around 8:40 am CST? I'm pretty sure I didn't log out... Just curious)