I used to have, way back in the day, a joystick with which to play flight sims on a 386 PC. Fast forward to today, I started playing Freespace 2. Really LOVED it, got into the story. But now i'm at a point where the mouse isn't really cutting it. I COULD play through with the mouse, but it's really annoying and taking the fun out of it. I have not seen a Joystick in recent years, as if everyone started using game pads and left the joystick behind.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a decent joystick? Or a buying guide or tips when looking for one?

I personally use a Saitek, or used it when I had my gaming PC working, and it was great for flight simulators and FPS games. I assume that's what Freespace is, having not played it myself, but They work great for FPS games. They are actually designed for flight simulation but mine worked just fine with the FPS games, all I had to do was get software to configure the controls on it. I can't remember the name of the software but it should be pretty easy to find a third party program.