Seems a bit odd to me but maybe if you're a hard core gamer and have a USB game controller laying around, maybe this is the way to go. He uses Xpadder to program the interface.
A while back, Mark Zimmer at Pro Video Coalition published an article on how to use a midi controller as an NLE control surface.
Pretty cool although I think more of a viable solution if you already happen to have a midi controller laying around.
On the subject of USB control surfaces, check out Xkeys. Xkeys can be used for a wide range of applications. I recently helped complete a studio build that included a custom Xkeys interface - basically a simplified switcher control surface for a Newtek Tricaster 460.
Here's the interface they offer for Photoshop which is pretty cool.
And of course there are a number of solutions ready to go right out of the box from manufacturers including JL Cooper and Contour Design.
And if all else fails, you can sit down and learn your NLE's keyboard shortcuts.