Well I can appreciate your sentiment on this one. In short the answer is yes but I did want to comment on what you missed out on.
You just hit the nail on the head as to why most folks don’t get into hard core sims. Spending a few hours just to get onto the runway doesn’t sound like a lot of fun and I hear you on that one. I call this switchology and there are some that really enjoy that aspect of a hardcore sim. I personally am somewhere in between. I’m a pilot in real life and I understand why developers set out to achieve a certain realism goal but at the same time I like to get out on the battlefield and get to work. If I wanted to have that work load I would go flying in real life.
So with that here is what you missed out on. Remember when you bought Falcon 4? Did you go through the manual and the training sections that walk you through all various aspects of the sim including taxi? Well if you didn’t you really missed out on something pretty amazing. Here is why. Falcon 4 turned out to be one of the best gaming experiences I and others have ever had and continue to have. I will spare you dramatic story behind Falcon and the last 10 years of continued development.
In short Falcon 4 turned into one of if not the most rewarding Modern Combat Flight Sims of all time. That sim is simple amazing and even to this day no other game has come close to simulating what it’s like to fly and manage a real F-16 in a real time war. Did you know that Falcon 4 supported multiple CPUs in 1998? Yes it runs really well on Dual Cores and above.
If you had stuck with it you would have looked back at Janes USAF fondly but you would have realized just how simple it really was. The rewards for learning such a deep sim are difficult to convey in forum thread but I will leave you with this. That reward is what drives guys to buy games like Black Shark and it’s what makes Falcon 4 to this day one of the best flight sims of all times. People are still very active flying Falcon 4 after 10 years.
If you still own Falcon 4 you have a great opportunity to check out what’s been going on for the last 10 years of continued development. There are two main groups to consider and each of them has their own version of Falcon 4 which has been highly updated.
Check out some of the latest screenshots in the preview of Free Falcon 5.
and look up in their forum the latest version of Open Falcon.
If you’re interested in a lighter Modern Combat Sim that’s a bit more like Janes. Pick up LOMAC and the addon called Flaming Cliffs. LOMAC isn’t as rich as flying Falcon. It’s a bit more sterile with the pre-canned missions and campaigns. It’s still a very nice sim though and you can find it for super cheap.
When you mention you want something between Battle Field 2 and Janes that's such and extreme it's difficult to gadge what you really want. BF2 has nothing to do with flying...
If you decide to check out either of those addons don’t bother with the original manual. It’s completely different now. Those addons have all the documents you need to get going.
If you don’t even want to bother with it I understand but I will also warn you Black Shark is the Falcon4 of Helicopter sims.
Sorry for the rant dude. I really wished you stuck with it you would know exactly what I'm talking about.