Belkin Nostromo n52 vs Saitek Pro Gamer Command Unit

I've been using a Belkin Nostromo Speedpad n52 for awhile now, and LOVE the freakin' thing. Unfortunately, I'm building a new PC that will feature Windows Vista. I'm not sure if Belkin plans on releasing Vista drivers or Loadout Manager software for the Nostromo, so I'm considering changing to the Saitek Pro Gamer Command Unit, which DOES have Vista drivers available on Saitek's Website.

The two products seem similar, except for the n52's D-pad compared to the "4-way" analog stick on the Saitek Pro Gamer. I love the n52's D-pad, which is 8-way, for moving around in FPS games. Would the Saitek's analog stick work in a similar way? Is it only capable of 4-way operation, or does it move freely like an analog stick on a XBOX gamepad?

If anyone has experience with gaming using the Saitek's analog stick, I'd appreciate a description of its movement characteristics.

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