Sorry to hear all these stories of confiscations. Like @mrwhitt I've taken torch lighters on multiple flights over the years and never had one taken. Then again, it's usually been a $4 HongJing lighter that can easily be replaced at my destination.
I try to give the TSA a break -- low wages, varied degrees of training, and dealing with stressed out travelers their whole shift. I would take a TSA job if my only other option were being unemployed and living in a van down by the river.
Remember when air travel was an enjoyable, pampered experience?