I'm not a big gamepad user for the PC. In fact, if there were a religion for PC gaming, I'd be part of the keyboard+mouse tabernacle. But recently I've taken up console emulation of older systems, and I was forced to abandon the keyboard+mouse just for a little while. While I was researching, I had two options. Either get a corded xbox 360 controller, or buy a pad. I didn't feel like paying the money to MS for the 360, so I opted out with the recoil pad from walmart.
This pad does a very nice feel to it, and it is set up a lot like the ps2 controller. The usb cable for it retracts back inside it when not in use, and is a great feature. Only drawback being that if there is a little knic in the cable, it will catch in there. But its working awesomely for me. The layout is great too for the buttons. Works great on Windows XP, not sure about vista though. I would recommend this though for a cheap pad if you need a quick replacement or just for light usage.