The F430 has so much power, launching proved difficult. You have to use CST to get a strong launch, but traction is an issue, so it comes down to flooring it for the hard launch, then backing off to regain traction, then rolling back in to get the best speed (without losing traction again). Tricky indeed. Upshifts are, of course, rapid and cleanly executed with the F1 shifter.
Pedal feel is very stiff with no slop or squish. We noted some ABS vibration, but it was subtle and made no noise. There was zero front-end dive, and no right or left pull. Basically, the F430 provided exactly what you would want (and expect) from a $200,000 super-car.
This car is incredibly nimble, especially for a 3,500 convertible. Steering is spot-on and roll-control is perfect. It's very easy to manage at the limit, and even with the traction and stability controls turned on (in race mode) it allowed sufficient slide for a sub-6-second slalom time.