Also, I believe sometimes you have to delete your old ini / nvram files, and let mame create a new set. Old files can cause problems with new mame versions.
And make sure that your controller deadzones are set well. If the deadzone is too large, there wont be enough space for good range of motion. I believe there is a setting called saturation as well. I have not messed with mame in while, because it wont do what I need it to do, to enjoy certain games correctly. No reason to play when you cant control it well. ahh well... maybe by the time Im retired, they will fix it, and I can finally build a good control panel.