Same here. I am really "value conscious" so I waffled on this for a bit due to the price. These are amazing - I feel much more connected in the corners (and I'm not scratching my tank).I use tech spec tank pads. They are in my profile picture. They aren't carbon fiber but they are very good at what they do.
any pictures to share? and Home Depot item number ?I went the cheap way on my bike too. Bought a roll of rubber from home depot ($19 cdn), cut a piece of cardboard to a shape I liked, then transferred it to rubber to cut. Flipped the cardboard over to do the other side, then used contact cement to mount it. It lasted several years, and easy to redo if it comes off, which it never did. I put that same rubber on the tops of my panniers and topbox.