It may sound as blasphemy to some of you here that would only use Trackpoints like myself, but if there is any lesson to be gained from this, I will be happy.
As I previously stated, at the time that this site did not require registration, when I posted under the name "Chris", back in November 2008, I came from a long time of Trackpoint use and hated the Touchpad literally for years before finally getting used to them (at least on my now three year old laptop).
Back near the end of 2009, I was looking for a replacement for my laptop. It was getting long in the tooth so to speak, after all, typing away for hours on end every day doesn't help keeping it in great condition. Every thing was starting to rub away, the case developed some small cracks and I was getting ominous disk errors.
So, for a replacement, I refused to consider any other laptops than those that had Trackpoint like devices and eventually settled on the HP 8730W, a top of the line at the time Workstation laptop.
Guess what happened: in the time that it took me to investigate getting a new laptop and the time I actually got it (4 months later), without noticing it, I finally got used to that darn Touchpad!!!
What happened? After extensive tweaking so it would respond in an acceptable manner to my natural gestural behaviour, use and habit finally got the best of my reservation and, after having forgotten my portable mouse once too many times, I finally got used to the Touchpad and can now pretty much use it for everything without having to concentrate on it at all! Talk about a complete reversal!
And guess what happened when I got the HP: I found out it was easier to use the Touchpad than the Trackpoint, even after extensive tweaking!
I do admit the Touchpad on the HP was a bear to adjust, because with a WUXGA screen, it is impossible to zoom from one side of the screen to another even with settings maxed out. It had to go into obscure windows acceleration algorithms to make it work in a decent manner (for more info, see this excellent Japanese site, translated here from Kanji to English, http://tinyurl.com/252eyjd )... Another thing on the HP, you cannot set the Touchpad and Trackpoint speed and acceleration parameters independently...
It may well be that the whole issue is due to the quality of software drivers, hardware and hardware revisions, especially when comparing vendors and revisions such as an old IBM and a newer HP, In any case I tried the Trackpoints on both my old Toshiba and my old Thinkpad and wouldn't you know... They felt just as clumsy...
Bottom line? It boils down to how close you can get your device to work in the most natural way possible, and use and force of habit, just like one can become proficient in a foreign language simply by using it everyday!
Have I come back to the Trackpoint after 6 months with the HP? Frankly, I haven't felt the need, and I don't even use a mouse anymore, even when making technical drawings! And the nice IBM nibs I bought to go with the HP Trackpoint? They've been sitting, unused, in their packaging
Moral of the story? In reality, what's best for anyone is dependent on two factors: how you feel about a device when you first use it and how comfortable you have become with it. Just like one prefers one's old worn shoes than the shiny new ones that looked so good in the store