took me about 30 mins on my 6 speed... Give yourself an hour to be careful. Sounds alot harder than it is. It only goes in there a certain way so you cant really install it wrong. If you get stuck ask some questions.
I hadn't realized that the knob is different. Interesting.
But yeah, I know what you mean about the boot. I ended up putting mine up on the lockout where your fingers usually lift it (ie: up one slot from where you have it). It doesn't bunch up quite as much and you get used to having it there when you lift that collar up.
You can get a leather shift boot from Redline that they can customize for you. I got the black leather shift boot with red piping and the leather armrest for $75 shipped from Europe. Its a great deal and Redline's stuff is well-made and looks incredible. Just let them know you have an STS and they can shorten the boot when they make it.