The form factor you described reminds me of QuickShot joysticks.
IMHO the best joystick ever was the Multicoin Starcursor, made by Multicoin Amusements (coin-op hardware manufacturers). I still have and use one of these. They also came out with the Starcursor and (IIRC) Starblazer joysticks, which were similar. Basically the same as what is used in coin-ops, manufactured to similar standards too, eg. solid steel shaft instead of cheap plastic, good microswitches, etc. Switchable between 4- and 8-way mode with 3 firebuttons (one atop the stick). The stick was one of the good coin-op ones (ie. more or less straight, with fire button on top), rather than the crap ones (ie. very thin shaft with red 'ball' on top).