So, the $64,000 question: pots or encoders…?
IMO, pots feel so much nicer to use… but you do have the whole jumping value issue to deal with. Encoders are better for discrete values though.
It’s also one of those questions that it’s easy to rationalise an answer to, but you won’t really know which you prefer until you try them both.
I have a Faderfox PC4 that I got used on eBay (for a bargain price of £75!).
I don’t use any of the programability, mine just outputs CC1-24 on channel 1. (And I only really use it with SuperCollider with a bit of custom code to quickly map it to a synth param.)
It’s nice and compact, and slides back underneath my monitor stand when not in use. I’m pretty sure I’ve never used all of the knobs at once. But the excess means you can lay things out logically rather than having to try to cram everything in.