Ok, so I have an Xbox 360 controller which I've been using to play fighting games and whatnot on my PC. I'm sure there's a better option and I'm looking for suggestions/comments. Some thoughts on my options as follows:
Keyboard - actually not too bad as long as I don't ever have to use a laptop keyboard. Any sort of circle involving both the up arrow does suck a bit given its different placement.
Xbox 360 controller - I actually end up using the analog stick. But from navigating through menus, I'm convinced that's actually really very bad for precise controls. But the dpad also feels meh. Plug and play.
PS3 controller - supposedly better dpad. If I ever get a PS3 I'll be set (don't have either console, but I'm more likely to get a PS3 than a X360 if I ever do so because of no region-locks for games). Not plug and play but does have drivers.
An arcade stick - best for competitive play? But expensive, bulky, not likely to actually be lugged around, which would just put me back at a disadvantage if I play somewhere else as I'll have to use a different controller. Probably a Hori something if I go this route (plug and play compatibility is apparently reversed here as supposedly the PS3 one will work with the PC out of the box). I also grew up on dpads, not arcade sticks, so there's the learning curve.
Other 3rd-party console controllers - Fightpad looked interesting for button placement but otherwise had mediocre reviews. Don't really know about anything else.
PC specific controllers - I have no idea about this
Games I play on the PC:
Immaterial and Missing Power, Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, Guilty Gear series, Melty Blood. SFIV is also coming out next month which I'll likely get.
Games on the consoles I'd like to play: Blazblue (may end up on the PC eventually anyway), SC4
So basically, I'm looking for something that fulfills as many of:
1) Good for fighting games (note, I'm not actually anywhere near competitive, just better than most of my friends though)
2) Portable (the fewer hassles the better, including driver installations)
3) If designed for consoles, preferably designed for a PS3. Bonus if it works with the PC360 (as in all 3 systems)
4) Price. Cheaper of course is always good, but not a dealbreaker really