Funny your old man would say that; I learnt to type on a typewriter, but the only residue from that, that I notice, is a preference for the keyboard to be at quite a steep angle.
A do know that my old Imperial 66 typewriter had a couple of pressure settings on the keys: there was a lever that adjusted the tension on the return spring for the keys. It was never as light-touch as something like a laptop keyoard, but it was quite close. The biggest problem seems to be that as you make the spring looser (the keys "softer") the maximum typing speed would go down, as the type didn't come away from the paper quite as fast. This made a trade-off between speed and strength. I almost always went for the soft, since my typing wasn't (as still isn't) very fast at all.
Still, I must agree that the tactile feedback is essential, especially if transcribing something, It is nice to know from touch that the letters are in fact there. This is something that bothers me about the preponderance of flat laptop-style keypads: they don't seem to have enough travel, and the mechanisms don't have a decided "on-off" point; that is, they almost seem to vary a little as one is typing so that what is a sufficient pressure with one key-press is not for another.
You know, I think I'm going to dig out the old typewriter and have a play with it now. Lets see if I can upset the neighbours with the racket of flying metal!