I have a M1 and it is my first fixed bridge guitar. My only real complaint with this guitar is that the string tension *seems* high compared to my other tremolo equipped guitars. I know this is a somewhat normal thing to experience when going from tremolo to fixed....
For people that have played both, does the MII feel a bit looser? I switched to 9s and lowered the action, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference.....
Well, unless you have a Tremo-no or something similar installed... when you bend the strings on a Floyd equipped guitar, the tremolo tends to dive forward which does 2 things... lessens tension/feel of the string, but you have to bend the string more than you would have to on a hardtail to the proper pitch. This is something I've dealt with the entire time I've played so it's no biggie, but I do notice a big difference when switching to hardtails.
I don't have an MI, but I do have an M-II and a Jackson SL1T. Yes, the fixed bridge will play tighter for the reasons 1point8t pointed out. But I can adapt fairly easy. You've already tried changing string gauge and lowering the action. Only other thing I'd try is running a fairly straight neck (less relief).
Interesting to see the term "perceived tension" used. I have to wonder if that comes from the threads I've posted on several forums that go into depth on tension and compliance.