In my experience, it depends heavily on the quality of the tablet. I used to have a low end Wacom tablet from about 2001, and it was always a ls you describe; I could never do anything with it well. Last year I got at Wacom Intuos 4, their newest thing, and it's like a dream -- literally like drawing on paper.
One thing I like about the new tablet I have is that it is 16:9 shaped (but actually overall is 6x4, including border, etc -- I have the smallest model). Anyway, that matches the screen shape of my MacBook, so positions on the tablet equate 1:1 with relative positions on my screen. Unlike a mouse there is no "sensitivity," because it's mapping tablet coordinates directly to screen coordinates. That's one enormous improvement over the older model I had.
Hope that helps some at least, though I know it's not precisely what you were looking for. If you do have a model of tablet that is not in 1:1 mapping mode, maybe you can try it that way.