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I would never drive a car with speed bleeders. I tried installing them once, and the fit and cut of the threads was so loose, I could wobble them and almost pull them out when seated. No amount of sealant (which could get back into the fluid) would ever convince me that they would then be suitable or safe to drive with, given the very high pressure that the braking system generates.
Speed Bleeders, also seen them marketed as "One Man Bleeders" are made several different companies, perhaps quality was off on the set you purchased, I have them on ever car I own/owned, and never encountered this problem, they fit just like regular bleed screws. Of course if encountered the problem you did, I wouldn't have kept those bleed screws (speed bleeder or otherwise) on the vehicle.
The system was flushed about a week before already so the fluid that was in there was about a week old. We topped off the master cylinder, closed it and bled the system. Once the system was bled when I went to top off I had a vacuum up at the master cylinder side, and the fluid was slightly low. I was more thinking since the old brake fluid that HAD been in there had been in for so long, that this softer feel is just the new feeling of the brakes with everything new. When the car is off, the pedal is firm firm firm. Once you fire the car up, you get a little freedom in the brake pedal. Not a lot, you're not going to the floor.
You're describing the difference between having and NOT having the power boost to the brakes. Although I would have described it differently, cause I would look at it differently, what you describe sounds normal, the power boost helps you press the pedal down. A soft squishy pedal without power boost would feel like absolutely no resistance with power boost.

After the motor has been running, shut it off and wait a few minutes, then press the brake pedal, you should still have power boost that tapers off steadily for a few presses of the brake pedal.

If you lost power boost to the brakes, without pressing the brake pedal within a few minutes of shutting off the motor, you have a problem, a vacuum leak in the brake power boost system, most likely the very cheap vacuum check valve, but it could be the more expensive power booster. This is a safety feature, and you should fix it, if your engine were too stall, normally you could stop the vehicle very easily with power boost still on the brakes, with this malfunction, if the engine were too stall, it would take 10 times the force on the pedal that you're accustomed to stop the vehicle.
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