Pyng vs. Other solutions
To respond to your post, let me first explain that I am a Crestron Dealer, and I have dealt with both the entry-level Pyng processor and Crestron's top-tier line of control processors. While Pyng has lots of future potential and does qualify as a DIY or very limited assistance DIY product-it has some pretty big limitations TODAY. In a nutshell, the supported devices you can control are pretty limited–when compared to Crestron's non-DIY fully programmable control systems. In other words, as soon as you want to control a device (like a TV), you currently need to invest in a 3 series processor and have it programmed to do so-and to work in conjunction with the Pyng Hub. While the price of a Pyng ONLY system versus a full 3 series programmed processor based system CAN be significant, there is only a savings if you never need to add functionality beyond what the Pyng can do-or are willing to roll the dice on what features it may get in the future (to be fair Crestron just added control of Autonomic Mirage Music Servers and is continually adding support for its own devices and more as we speak. However, there are no guarantees WHEN, or WHAT devices will be controllable. If you know you want to control devices Pyng can't handle today, I would opt for a full-blown control system (that doesn't offer DIY programming). IF you just want a great entry level control system for Crestron shades, lighting, and a security system, and maybe some smart door locks and an Autonomic whole house sound system-you would be very happy with how quickly it can be setup and changed–keeping in mind the GUI is what it is and there are limitations to what it can do–however if these are not deal breakers, it can be a viable solution.
I am a huge DIYer, and I try to empower my clients to be as self-sufficient(and less dependent on outside help) with technology as possible. This has always been my philosophy,–within reason. Programming your own Crestron system is NOT an easy task, and even when you are a JEDI it takes a LOONG time to code a full system and build a GUI, especially when you don't know what you are doing. Keep in mind that a system designed to control all of the stand-alone systems in your home (thermostat, security system, lights, shades, audio, video) doesn't and shouldn't change much once installed. If you keep changing what your buttons on a touchpanel-or on the wall do-you will drive yourself, your wife, and your family crazy in short order. Having new devices added or removing old obsolete ones is not a major task for a well-programmed, established system. Crestron is also one of the few companies known for it's commitment to legacy devices-which means you don't have to throw everything away every two years or redo it every two years. The goal should be to put a system in place that does 100% of what you want it to when the installer leaves, (barring fine tuning/bug fixes immediately following install) and will continue to do so for the next 15-20 years (only needing service when a device wears out and needs to be replaced-just like any other household appliance wearing out over time.) The bonus to Crestron is that it really isn't a "proprietary" system in many ways. Crestron simply provides hardware and the tools to create fully custom software that controls all of the various 3rd party systems in your home, and talks to them in whatever language they speak-using IP, RS-232, IR, 12-volt triggers, relays, dry-contact closures, etc. The bonus is that since the system overlays everything-each system still retains native functionality and can be controlled "the old fashioned way" in addition to the Crestron way-meaning I can control my Nest from their app, their website, my Crestron touch panel, or from the thermostat itself-the choice is mine, the result is the same. A fully programmable system is a blank slate-you can program the connected systems to be controllable from a wall keypad, wall touchpanel, an iPad, iPhone, Android device, a computer, or all of the above. You can make it remotely controllable or limit control to people inside the home-and there are very few limits to what it can do–especially when compared to the numerous DIY solutions cropping up at the low-cost end of the spectrum. IN terms of proprietary limitations, all of the major control systems (Savant/Control4 have limitations when it comes to controlling each-other's hardware–however if you were only using Crestron/Savant/Control4 for the control system, and everything else was from 3rd party manufacturers, you could theoretically change control systems by only changing the control hardware and programming the new system-and keep everything else in place. Hope this helps. If you have any questions, message me.
I didn't go into Caseta, but my limited hands-on with it in a Lutron class made it clear that, like Pyng, if you accept the rules of engagement/limitations it works great-but if you need to go beyond the out-of-the-box features, your solution becomes kludgy or expensive-because you have to buy a solution that can pickup where you left off with Caseta (or Pyng).