I'm very interested in more carefree input methods for panning. Unfortunately we have been limited to 4-way (8-way) discrete hat-switches too long.
I imagine using the actual mouse itself for panning at the same time as using a joystick can be cumbersome (impossible if you have a throttle as well). The goal is to be able to pan around without effort while maneuvering the aircraft. We need an analog thumb control for this! [Any hardware developers listening?]
Although I haven't had the chance to try it, I'm very interested in hearing from people that have 'trackball on throttle' (mouse emulation). Do you use it for panning control?
Hypothetically, would an analog pressure sensitive hat-switch be better?
PS. For those with programmable joysticks, I recommend moving the panning controls as near as possible to one of your thumbs in the normal grip position. Usually panning is assigned to the hat-swith on the top right of the joystick --- a very cumbersome position on most joysticks. (I use the latter for aircraft trim and radar slewing).