Thank you for digging that up, it may be helpful down the road. I might even try replying to the author in the techpowerup.com discussion with something I think may be helpful to him.
FWIW, I found a TEAC combo 5.25/3.5 drive (which of course may make things more
complicated) which uses only a single ribbon connector (no edge connector required) for its workings. This would get me around one fo the problems the author noted.
I have noticed that some USB drives specifically say that they access the floppy drives via MFM, which gives me some (perhaps misplaced) hope that some drives might be better parts donors than others.
Of course, that deviceside.com solution is the best of all; but if I can pull off the same functionality without spending $55 on an adapter, that would be preferable.
EDIT: I just looked at the cable mentioned in the forum you linked to; the cable was $28. At that point it might not be advantageous to buy the cable rather than just buying the $55 adapter and being done with it.