I've been wondering how easy it would be to adapt Force Sensing joystick technology to console controllers. (Force sensing joysticks are used on modern fighter jets, rather than moving like an analog stick or traditional joystick, a force sensing joystick simply converts the force you apply to it to a digital output. Force sensing joysticks are much more precise, have no dead-zone and are more durable due to having no moving parts) I know there is at least one flight sim joystick set-up that uses force-sensing, but it is $400 and includes a full hotas arrangement and instrument panel thingy.
Thinking about it, I would be okay with paying a premium (say, $100-$150) for a force-sensing xbox controller, considering how much more durable and precise it would be.
Really, for PC gaming, if you don't like Kb/M controls, a good flight-sim HOTAS (hands-on throttle and stick) arrangement might be worth considering, I used to use an old sidewinder joystick for FPS gaming back in the day, and many games still support the joystick. Unlike control-pads, a HOTAS set-up can have ridiculous amounts of buttons, and would be more comfortable than kb/m, you'll pay more than for a control-pad, but likely about the same as for a high-end gaming keyboard and mouse. (though higher end HOTAS's can be pretty expensive, like $400 for a force sensing stick)
Personally, I've found the microsoft sidewinder mouse to be pretty good though, the vertical thumb buttons are really lightyears better than conventional horizontal thumb buttons, and for me, is worth the extra cost. though I could also tell a difference when I was bored and fiddled with the adjustable weights and skids, not much of a difference, but it definitely feels more comfortable now that I've adjusted everything.
to a review of the force sensing flight sim joystick, the link int he article to the product page is broken, but a little googling indicates the entire set-up can be had for around $300 now.