Purchased this to do bacon as I hate that it curls up when cooking. I noticed all the reviews stating the hardware left the handle loose so I was prepared to buy replacement hardware at the store if needed (it would have cost about a dollar), however, it was not needed. The hardware included is stainless and works well, I think the problem people are having is thinking the nuts included should go on smoothly - they do not. Think of the nuts as lock nuts, they are corse threaded and do not go on smoothly (you will have to pay close attention to not cross thread them), this is done on purpose to keep them secure and not subject to loosening over time. You will need a wrench or crescent (along with a flat blade screwdruiver) to tighten them, it will take some effort and can be awkward (because of the handle), plus you will need a good screwdriver that fills the slot since it will take some force to tighten them properly, it would have been better if they were of the phillips type.
The bottom is not perfectly smooth, although it is flat, it has the texture of a cast iron skillet - a bit rough, but what you would expect of a cast iron product. The total weight was 2.74 lbs. with the handle on it, a good weight to ensure long life and keeping the food down on the pan. You will need to keep it seasoned (like any cast iron product), it does come pre-seasoned, however, unless you want to use it without first washing it you will need to season it every so often (an easy thing to do), they recommend after each use - but you can be the judge of that.
Overall this does the job I wanted it too and will last a lifetime (like my cast iron pans), the handle keeps cool in my useage (it may get too hot if you left it on a high heat for a long time - then use a pot holder) and performs as expected. Good for all your pressing needs (pun intended).