the replacement device arrived at my place, and I didn't even had to pay for the shipping. The new SPP has a perforation on the ctrl button, just like I did myself on my old SPP using a hot needle, and perforations at the end of each short/long-press button. Also, the LED ring seems to have a better light diffusion material so that it looks more like a ring instead of 10 circular arranged single LED's.
I would like to thank the entire 3dconnexion team for their first class support. I think this is exceptional, although I must say that it is the first time ever I had to replace a device. My job relies on perfectly working devices and controllers, so I take good care.
Like before, I can recommend 3dconnexion as a very good company with best devices and support.