Power receptacle wiring

I have an existing power receptacle and wiring where:
a) power comes into the bottom outlet b) additional receptacles are daisy chained off the bottom outlet c) the top plug is switched... an additional hot line comes off the bottom outlet, goes to the switch, and then goes to the top outlet.
Everything works OK. However, when I went to replace the receptacle with a new and different colored one I noticed the wiring and started to wonder about something. Bear with me, for this is hard to ask without a diagram...
Lets name the power feed wires coming into the bottom outlet HOTin and NEUTRALin. Lets name the wires that feed the other receptacles HOTout and NEUTRALout. Lets name the switch wires SWITCHin and SWITCHout. The receptacles I'm working with have screw terminals and corresponding push in type terminals. So there are options in terms of how the wires are connected. For example, HOTin could be pushed in and HOTout could be connected to the corresponding screw terminal. Or vice versa. Or both could be connected to the screw terminal. Etc.
As it stands right now... HOTin and NEUTRALin are connected to the lower outlet's push in terminals, HOTout and NEUTRALout are connected to the lower outlet's screw terminals, and SWITCHout is also connected to the lower outlet's screw terminal. What I got to wondering about is whether there is a "proper" way to make such connections and whether what I have is it. Or whether it really matters. IOW, is it OK that power comes in via push in terminals and goes out to other receptacles via corresponding screw terminals? Or should it be the other way around? Or should both in and out be connected to the screw terminals?
Hope you follow what I'm asking ;-) Thanks in advance for an info.
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I don't know if it's kosher to use the screws and push in terminals to daisychain circuits... It does work so should be OK.
BUT you should only have ONE wire under a terminal screw. If you can't do that, then you put a short wire under the screw and join it to the other wires with a wirenut.
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And if wiring the two outlet's (in the one duplex outlet) so ones on a switch be sure to break off the connecting shunts between the two. -- Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts:
"What, sir, is the use of militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. . . Whenever Government means to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise a standing army upon its ruins." -- Debate, U.S. House of Representatives, August 17, 1789
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wrote:

FWIW, I finally managed to stumble across some discussions regarding that point:
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/wiring/msg12223018702.html http://www.iaei.org/magazine/03_e/03_UL_sept_oct.pdf http://www.nachi.org/bbsystem/viewtopic.php?pc881
If I'm reading them correctly, it is technically OK that I have power coming into the push in (backstab) terminals and then going out the binding screw terminals. But apparently alot of experienced folk don't like to use the backstab terminals.

Apparently, the house was wired before that was required by code. Assuming it is required. In any case, I can understand why it would be undesireable.

Well the neutral side IS shunted, the hot side is NOT shunted since hot is fed to the top plug via the wall switch.
At this point I'm thinking that since the neutral side is shunted, I could utilize both top and bottom binding screws and thereby eliminate the neutral going into the backstab without pigtailing. But on the hot side I'd pigtail into the binding screw.
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There are two kinds of back wired outlets; the good ones that are actually clamps worked by the side screws, and the crap one that are just springs. You should not be using the crap ones for any purpose; it is just not worth using crap to save $1. You should not be using both the back and sides of the good ones because you can't reliably pressure both.
Why not do it the right way? A pigtail is several wires held together with a wirenut. One is line, the rest are load. In your case, you have the line coming in, a load to your first outlet, a load to the rest of the outlets, and a load to the switch. (Yes, you could just as easily move ONE of the loads to the load side of your first outlet). It is no more difficult, but is rather more reliable.
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