Tried M530 pedals with SH56 cleats, and after some adjustment, it's not bad. Much easier to pedal when not clipped in. Unclip works with less than perfect side twists. The clamp is sort of a V channel, which helps with less perfect alignment. Basically, it helps a whole lot. Easier for a newbie like me, but might lead to poor cleat habits. Still not easy, but seemed MUCH easier than EBs. I MIGHT be able to keep from falling on my ass.
In general, I noticed my right leg angle is very different than my left. This is probably where my knee pain comes from, plus my "knock-kneed" gait, L4/L5 pain, etc. Left foot is almost lined up straight, but my right cleat inside bolt is pulled down a third of the way, and all the way towards the inside in order to make unclip feel the same (and avoid awkward knee gyrations and discomfort).
I'm not sure if I want to ride with CCC tonight, because of my 52 miles on Saturday still feeling sore. That, plus new cleating makes me worry I'll just be in the way. However, I think this will be one of the last rides that's slower, so it might be my best group opportunity. Also, I want to see if Irving filled in that big pavement crack on Kinwest.