FFB is better. Not effects. I turn all effects off that are not physics-based. But the direct physical feedback is just overall better quality in rf1 and 2.
Physics not imho but good rf1 mods are still amazing to drive. Well I don't really have that much in-depth info about the rf1 physics from the modding side of things but I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about ac. And what I know about rf1 is that it allows to create a car with tons more detail. Whereas in ac the whole suspension setup is basically 20 lines in rf1 it is closer to 100 lines. But as far as hotlapping goes ac wins for me. For a complete sim ac is still pretty dire but that's separate issue.
If you want a package download rf1 lite and install the historix mod on top that. It (historix) comes with a thorough pdf that explains pretty much everything. Or just get the nsx for rf.
Why is it awkward to you? I'd imagine it could be akward for ISI but why should the end user care at all? If a modder made a good mod for lfs that drove better than anything else why should it be awkward for lfs player?
Fanatec 911 turbo s + csp v1 pedals.
Basically it is somewhere between tr500 and g25.