It saddens me that your first meet went so poorly...really I hope you don't let it discourage you from competing again. If you don't mind a little soapboxing: hearing your story (and some of the others) really pisses me off. Any fed that is worried about what kind of underwear you are wearing is retarded. Someone could toss a bench shirt on under a t-shirt and claim they are lifting raw, the only way to know if he's got a shirt on is for someone to suspect it and check under the t-shirt. If the fed doesn't allow SUPPORTIVE BRIEFS, and they suspect someone is wearing them, they need to physically check...oh you've got COTTON UNDERWEAR ON? No problem. And clearing equipment and then later re-canting, it sounds like someone has their head up their ass.
As for strict judging or bad judging, you're always going to have this...you're going to have meets where judges wait 25 seconds to give you the press command.
At the end of the day, it's supposed to be FUN! Anyone who is taking this shit so serious that they are worried about what kind of underwear you are wearing or a padded belt needs to get bent.
99% of powerlifters are getting jack shit aside from the personal achievement of being in the sport. You've got 1% that are profiting. There are guys who put their lives on the line with some of the weight they are handling and they aren't making money doing it...they do it because they LOVE the sport...and to have some judge fuck up the experience, that's just unforgivable.
/my two cents which ain't shit after tax.