I know some of you have some nice driving setups. Here's my setup with a little review of the components. Maybe it will convince some of you to stop using the wrong
input devices (controllers) for these games.
Fanatec Porsche 911 GT2 Wheel
I used to have a 911 Turbo S wheel and upgraded to this wheel. No complaints at all with this wheel. It works for the XBOX, PS3, and PC so if you have both GT5 and Forza 4, it's somewhat of a value. The quality is great and it has a lot of fine tuning options. At the very least, a 900 degree wheel is a must for these games.
Fanatec Clubsport Pedals
These are arguably the best part about the Fanatec wheel setup. The pedal feel in most gaming wheel setups are horrible. They are plastic and everything feels light. These pedals are completely adjustable and if you get the tuning kit, you can adjust spring rates and improve the feel with medal bushings. I'll even go as far as saying these pedals feel much better than my M3 in real life. I can heel-toe like a champ with these. These are reason alone to get a Fanatec setup over others. There's even a motor that spins when you brake hard to simulate ABS. Very nice. These pedals might also work with other wheel setups, but I haven't really looked into it much.
Fanatec Clubsport Shifter
The standard Fanatec 6 speed shifter is very mushy. It works fine, but it could be better. My first one even snapped off after 6 months. They sent me a new one for free under warranty. Great customer service. However when they released the CSR version, I had to get it. The shifter is medal instead of plastic. The joints might be plastic (not quite sure), but regardless it feels so much more crisp and direct. The gates are a bit wide for my liking, but you get used to them.
One thing I should mention about the 6 speed shifter (and this has nothing to do with the shifter itself) is the difference between GT5 and Forza. If you do a bad shift in Forza, you still go into gear, but you hear a grind and your transmission damage goes up a few percentages. In GT5, you get popped into neutral. The latter is completely annoying and the margin of error seems to be higher in GT5. So I end up using the paddle shifters (no clutch) in GT5 and the 6 speed manual in Forza.
Playseat Limited Edition Forza Motorsport 4 Racing Seat
This is the preferred Playseat setup if you have the Fanatec Clubsport Pedals because they mount up directly to this and it's very sturdy. The only downside is you'll have to drill holes for the wheel itself. I'm not sure why they didn't provide mounting holes for the Fanatec wheels. You can get a drill template from Fanatec's website. The chair itself is fairly comfortable. I've played for 3-4 hour sessions (unintentionally of course) and never felt discomfort. Pedal and wheel distance adjustments are easy to make. Before this, I had the Fanatec wheel stand. I have to say that seating position makes a big difference with these games. I would buy this setup again.
I play on a 46" Samsung. It's not 3D, but I don't really care for that in racing games. I've played GT5 in 3D and everything just looks a bit dull. I think for racing games, a bigger TV is better. I think a 55" would be nice and help with the immersion. Then again, the 3 display setup is probably even better, but my wife will kill me far before I ever get to that point (I think I'm at her limit now).
As far as sound goes, I have your average speaker system, but I recently got a Sennheiser wireless headset and found it to be perfect for driving games. Drowning out external sounds really helps with the immersion. Aside from hearing the engine loud in your ears, you can pick up the faintest sound of your wheels slipping which really helps improve your game.
If you have a wheel, share your setup. I'm really interested in all the CSR stuff so if you have one, post a review.