Thanks F19_CoNa, I googled the X65f - looks like it gets mixed reviews, a bit of a love it or hate it stick. It sounds interesting, though I reckon I'd prefer to try before I buy if possible.
I reject your hypothesis: Real aircraft do NOT require "a certain amount of stick-force per G".
OK, I didn't phrase that too well - stick-force per g is not constant, and varies with airspeed and altitude. However aircraft are designed to have a minimum stick-force per g value, so as to avoid overloading the aircraft, and to create the right "feel". My point is that in real aircraft you have tactile feedback, and the more g you are pulling (relative to the trimmed position) the more force you will have to exert on the stick. With PC joysticks this feedback is not present, which IRL would be an important indicator of how much stress you are putting on the aircraft.
For instance at low speeds, the controls will feel less senstitive and large deflections will be required to manoeuvre. But at higher speed the controls will "stiffen up" (no jokes plz
) and the aircraft will feel much more responsive.
Control forces are explained pretty well here
Anyway, I'll probably just get a HOTAS warthog. And I probably need to get out more...