I love my highfield lever, not literally. Not catching your fingers is merely a simple case of easing the lever down rather than ‘flicking’ and letting go. Also I can’t help but think that releasing that tension quickly must be bad for the boat. It sounds horrible anyway. Highfield levers must also be cheaper than a muscle box and require very little in the way of maintainance, i.e. replacing lines etc. As to the strop, I use some prestretch line at the top of mine. This is cheap and does the job perfectly well. I know it will eventually run out but only cost about 40p. Also if the lever does shift having a line at the top will allow for a little adjustment to be made at the top end easily.
Have fun with the new purchase
Martyn – Jubilee