I think "component club maker" is a misnomer. Most of the irons that are produced by the name brands are actually components coming from the same casting companies. CoastCast comes to mind. I worked for Acushnet for a number of years and often we would find other brands in the same box of heads. Even Cameron Putters are sent out to various vendors during the process. I managed a data base that tracked the wherabouts of the heads. The club plant for Titleist merely assembled them. Now the custom players forged irons were hand ground or at least finishing touches. Some of those guys were real artists and could put a tolerance on a blade just by eyeballing it.
Way back when I was doing a little club assembly on my own, I put one together like that, Golf Works was selling finished Powerbilt Citation heads, and I used an Aldila shaft, may have even hand-wrapped a leather grip. It worked pretty well for a while. I think I traded it for a couple of tickets and a party bus ride to a Jimmy Buffett show.
Like everyone has said - we all go through this stage at some point, just some more than other (like me ). I know what I'm doing wrong I just struggle to correct it! There's nothing more demoralising that loosing balls. Keep your head up, it'll all come back to you soon :)
I still play some older irons. Hogan Edge and Apex Plus. I also bought a set of Topflight XL mostly because I just liked the looks of them. They are billed as a starter set. I currently have a mix of 4,5,6 Edge; 7,8,9, Topflight. Apex Plus E wedge, and a set of Tom Watson wedges. I have not noticed that much difference, except on bad hits on the forged irons. The metals that come with the Top Flight are decent, but I sometimes go back to the old Hogan Speed Slot woods just for fun. I could kick myself for selling a Titleist Persimmon Driver that was given me by Scotty Cameron. The feel and "Crack" sound of a solidly hit persimmon can't be beat.