I believe a real racquet would alter the swing a bit (for the better). The pole is too light and whippy. But I felt it was a good tool for showing which way the butt was pointing.
Yes I shifted to a semi western, so I understand the racquet face should be more closed vs fed, more djoko like, and I try to feel that in court.
Speaking of grip, I may be a bit choked up on the forehand as well. Since you pointed that issue out on the backhand, I tried moving the forehand grip further out too, which seems to allow easier access to the ssc.