cougars are nice but hard to get ahold of and hella expensive. something about a joystick with metal gimbals is very appealing and i like the idea of a joystick which can be modded to hell.
every joystick ive owned has left something to be desired.
of the usb sticks, ch included, seem to have 8 bit axes. where most software supports about a 16 bit axis, for example sdl seems to pass axis data to games as an Sint16 data type. most of the legacy gameports were on 16 bit soundcards and therefore were 16 bit axes. so apis accept 16 bit axis data. but all the people who make usb joysticks want to keep their expense to a minimum and use a less capable micro controller and encode the axis data as 8 bit.
if i were to design a stick, id use metal gimbals, metal switches and buttons, id even make the cases metal. id have 16 bit axes, leather grips, hardware trim on all axes, and toggleable hardware detents on all main axes which can be switched on and off as needed. also spring tension and friction settings on main axes. as an added bonus id make the whole setup wireless. it would come with rudder pedals that actually look and feel like rudder pedals. id also raise the joystick handle a few inches above the gimbals. on
of joysticks to get the full vertical range requires considerable handstrain. id reduce the range of motion while making the handle a bit longer. of course the whole thing would sell for a grand