Well if Ritchey indicate the bolt torque as 5NM, shouldn't their expectation be that users will tighten to that torque?
When I was trying to install, I got nowhere near 5NM before the bolt sockets started to deform. I am a long time user of the 4-Axis stem and have high praise for it, but the C260 not so much.
Perhaps they should have reversed the direction of the bolts so that the heads were on the front of the stem and not the back.
From a visual, as well as functional aspect, I said the same thing. Why do the bolts fasten this way and are not on the other side?!?! The screw heads come out of the front 1-2mm or so, kind of goofy. But you don't really stare at it, just a minor thing/nuisance I suppose. The functional aspect, for torque, only the lowers can be a PITA. The tops are easy to get to and tighten.
$25 will get you 7 new titanium black tapered bolts to swap the faceplate and steerer ones if that bothers people. I know, who wants to pay more money when they already spent $110 to get something that should already be on there!