Hello Derek and welcome to the message boards.
Let me give you an idea based on what I did. We'll just call it the diary of a (old timer FS fanatic).
When I first started flying MSFS I had a cheap flight stick with a couple of buttons and knobs or wheels or whatever. I don't remember exactly what it was, but I'm thinking it was a Wingman.....not exactly their top of the line one at that. It was good enough until I knew this was going to be more than another Atari game or a simple race game, which I soon tired of those as years passed. Once I decided this was a series hobby, some eight years or so ago, I had to have better controllers. That's when I purchased the CH Yoke and Pedals, and thankfully it was just after they came out with the USB types. If not they'd be obsolete like this computer is getting to be. I love the CH's, but that's because they're the only yoke and pedals I've ever had. At one time I thought I'd get interesting in flying the combat simulators again, but it didn't last. I actually have the Saitek X52 controllers sitting on a shelf, but after flying for so long with the Yoke and Pedals I was spoiled and didn't even use them enough to judge them.
I hope this helps. I'm sure others can shed some light on the Saitek controllers, or whatever they use.
It's interesting to see you here since, being from the Pittsburgh area, half the people I know, including relatives, have or had worked for, Allegheny Airlines, Pediment Airlines, US Air, or US Airways at some point in time, which was/is all one and the same. Just in case you're interested in some history of your employer.
I hope this helps.
Acer Predator AG3620-UR308, 3rd Gen. Intel Core i7-3770 processor 3.4GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology up to 3.9GHz (8MB Cache), NVIDIA GeForce GT630 (2GB), 2 TB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, 12GB DDR3 SDRAM, Windows 8