Don't give up. Check out modulor's illustrated guide to modding the pads. I won't say it's easy, but it's not impossible, and his guide is the schiit. Buying two pairs to HFM pads (pleather + velour) isn't that expensive.
Something people with AKGs (K701, K702, Q701, and pretty much any AKG with similar pads) can try is taping the AKG pads to the HE-500 mounting rings. I did this yesterday with my Q701 pads and am quite pleased with the result. So much so that I ordered a pair from AKG to use with the HE-500 (half the price of the only other place I saw the black Q701/K702 pads). VERY simple mod, which could be tweaked further, I suppose. It's not a replacement for the jergpads, just something different. How the two compare, I can't yet say. My jergulorX pads should be dry now, so maybe today or tomorrow I'll have some time to go back and forth. My initial listening session with the AKG pads showed a better soundstage, perhaps due the pads being larger (ears further from the driver) and angled. They are pretty stiff, and some people might not like the way they feel. Massaging them over time should soften them up a little, but also wear the velour faster (maybe stick one in a plastic bag first; have to try that).
Thanks for your answer :)
Actually I checked the original post once again, and saw the 2.0 revision of the mod in the spoiler tag which seems much more doable. I read the illustrated guide v2.5, but he whole part with the velour earpads and sewing them back on was discouraging me. But the 2.0 is basically just making holes in the stock pleather pads. I can do that!
Question, though: where can I order stock pleather pads? I found the velour pads, but I just want to be able to order some replacement pleather pads if I screw mines while doing the mod. Also, can I order replacement mounting rings? I read that they were really fragile.