I recently started reading about the iRule software that allows you to use your iOS or Android device as a fully custom universal remote. I've pretty much got my plan for my A/V equipment figured out. (Acer Iconia A500/iPhone to a GC100-12 to my Directv, plasma, projector Denon receiver, etc.) I'd like to also be able to start adding some HA "tweaks" to my house and be able to control it all with the iRule system.
Specifically, I have several ceiling fans and lights throughout my house I'd like to control, and would also like to add HVAC controls at some point. Maybe one day some cameras would be nice, but that's way down the road. I'd like a system I can build on a little at a time - one room at a time, as I have a very tight budget. I was initially drawn to the X10 system for ease of building on to a system and, of course the price. However, I know X10 is 1) a dying system and 2) considered by some to be pretty much cheap junk. They've even discontinued their IR543 box, so that kind of kills using X10 with iRule.
So far my research has steered me towards Insteon and their SmartLinc combined with a FanLinc. $80 a pop for the FanLincs seems a little steep for a beginner. Is there something else out there that I'm missing that's a little more budget friendly? I know...I know...home automation and cheap don't go together, but I'm a newb here.