Have a mid-engine car with a extra 800 lbs, no power steering. As light as the Elise is no real need for it. It'll give you a more direct linear feedback. With the shorter stiffer sidewalls and light weight even at parking lots speeds it wouldn't be very heavy (the euro car wasn't).
I've driven a euro-spec Elise. The steering does not feel particularly "heavy" or difficult in any way. It makes for a very direct, immediate driving experience. If you've ever driven a kart, the steering experience is similar to that.
I think the item that took more getting used to than the lack of power steering on the Euro spec cars was the lack of power assisted brakes. I almost thought the brakes weren't working, but ended up loving the feel.
Does the brake pedal have a good feel on the Fed car? The excessive travel reports are a bit disappointing.
My Europa didn't have power steering and it was terrific now my Seven doesn't have power anything and it is definately the most responsive car I have driven. Once you go without all the boosted, isolated, power features you will not want to go back.
IMO, the main benefit of power steering (at least a good one) is to make the steering effort consistent between slow and quick driving. I've driven NSX's with and without power steering. I like the feel of the NSX with power steering because I don't have to adjust for the steering effort differences when the car is slow or fast (you can notice the difference on the track trying to make a slow turn vs going on a fast sweeper). Granted, the NSX probably has one of the best power steering system out there, which also points to the fact that steering feel is more than a function of whether there is or there isn't power steering.
That aside, I'm perfectly fine not having the power steering on the Elise, and I don't really see myself trying to parallel park the Elise on the hills of San Francisco. I'll be more concerned about break-ins and other cars touching it anyway.