Yes! Microsoft has published a page devoted to explaining exactly how and why Flight Simulator (namely FSX) can be very useful for real-world pilots. Have a look here: Information for Real World Pilots. Bruce Williams, a former member of the development team that brings you Flight Simulator, now a full-time flying instructor, has written an article backing up the validity of Flight Simulator being used as a training aid. Bruce has even gone as far as writing a book on this topic.
The hardest thing I tend to encounter is someone who is a real-world pilot taking me seriously as a flight simulator developer. I’ve been in the flight simulation arena for quite a few years, and believe me – the technology in FSX may not be FAA-certifiyable for logging hours, but they’re not far off the mark!
As Av-Gas prices continue to rise, I hope that many of you who are skeptical give another look at PC desktop simulation as a very economical way to enjoy aviation in another means. There are already thousands around the world who enjoy it – there’s always room for many more!