I'll give you my thoughts, but I'm probably the noobest noob on here!
I've been thinking about my own lighting solutions (combination of leds in a tray soffit, cans pointing down from soffet & in ceiling, riser lighting, and sconces), and trying to understand the various RF and IR solutions commercially available for switching. Your lighting looks great to me, so I was hoping you'd tackled some of that already.
As far as remotes, I've made some little progress there. I've had a few different Harmony remotes over the years, so programming them is nothing new. I decided I needed a "smarter" HT, so I'm trying to kick it to the next notch right now. I'm a IT geek by trade, so a HTPC is a no brainer. Networking is fun, and I have a WAN and multiple WiFi networks throughout the house. For my own solution I'd like to be able to control EVERYTHING (Same thing we do every night...) For my theater I want to control everything from one place, and have the HT be one component of the entire thing. I found iRule a couple of weeks ago, and I've been playing with it since.
I started with our family room system, which is simpler but still a nice playground. I picked up 2 IR to IP "gateways", and started messing around. I had a plasma, receiver, Blueray, Apple TV, cable, and iTunes working within 30 mins, and that includes installing the gateways and emitters, and getting the app configured and installed on an iPad. 5 more minutes, and my wife and I had it running on our iPhones. Next step is to throw on some other toys, such as a wireless thermostat, blind motors, and light switches. From there, HTPC and MoviePoster. Once I get all that down, I can start the switching build for the dedicated HT downstairs!! (for any/all updates, check out my dedicated HT thread
Again, great stuff, and thanks for the info on the carpeting!