Why isn't Tac-II mentioned? It was great, and a hallmark in joystick history! Super tight and responsive, quiet, great buttons (but not for shooters), perfect for platformers! Pic here: http://www.ntrautanen.fi/computers/o...ac2_normal.jpg
For shooters I'd use a (digital) joypad, but the ultimate, all-round joystick is an arcade panel box with a Superjoy (something like http://www.quarterarcade.com/img/vol2/1271_0_pf.jpg
) and blade switch buttons. I have a panel for it, just need time to make a box and paint it and connect a joystick plug.