Re: ...pretend to be astronauts.
I think the typical astronaut pilot does at least a fair amount, but probably not as much as a GA pilot in a Cessna... Alan Shepard, on the other hand, was pretty-much a ballistic trajectory. I'd be surprised if there was much piloting to be done in that instance.
Before I get shot down in flames, I know he was a very accomplished pilot / aviator. I also know he'd have to have balls of steel to sit on top of that Mercury/Redstone contraption. I also know that on Apollo 14 he would have had to fly and land the LEM. Without Mechjeb.