Well that explains why your gauges don't fit. They are the Performance Prosport gauges just like I guessed.
As for my cluster being redesigned. I tried what you suggested and spent a lot of money for that design work and it blocked the temp gauges to much. By moving it forward like it is it blocks the least amount as possible leaving enough room for the majority of gauges to fit. The angle can not be changed, that also was tried and did not pass the mold draw test. (would leave scratch marks on every pod when extracted from the mold. Each cluster has to be able to come straight out of the mold without resistance or they will scratch.)
As the technology gets better smaller parts are used, so gauges will only get less deep. Also the reason why there is 1/4 inch extra in the front so those with really short gauges can cut back the pods face and have their gauge sit further back.
The white needle gauges have one of the best price points out there for the high quality and technology that comes with them.