The whole "TIES are deathtraps" thing really came out of the old X-wing sim games, where shields were very, very strong in order to allow for a more arcade-y experience (otherwise you'd be dying in one or two hits). Movie-wise it seems even shielded rebel fighters can only take a hit or two more than an unshielded TIE and seem to be slower and more ungainly.
Mixed feelings about the X-wing series. On the one hand, it's one of the few long-running series that *isn't* about a Jedi, or have anything to do with Jedi.
On the other hand, the protagonist eventually discovers he has Force powers and does become a Jedi.
On one hand, great space battles and really gives the sense of military sci fi in some of the set-ups, in the early books. The first book shows how lethal things can get on the front-lines. They lose several pilots in a mission that has terrible intel. Their airbase gets attacked by a commando raid, etc.
On the other hand, some of the setups and odds later just gets rather ridiculous and the series does suffer really from power creep.
Also, things get less and less militarily grounded as time goes on, it felt like. By Wraith Squadron, we've got "Well, fighter pilots aren't special enough, so let's make them fighter pilots - who are COMMANDOS!". It sort of lost all the military trappings that made it interesting.