Most common remotes for one room solutions for CI's are URC, RTI and Pro Control (made by RTI). All need a processor to make them RF.
All require programming. But as you have learned from your Crestron, it's not really about the remote system, it's about the programmer.
I myself like URC for programming as they have a little quicker response on guides and menus. I sell the crap out of the URC MX850 and MRF350 as they are very reliable and easy to use. No touchscreen, regular batteries, hard buttons and 10 programmable screen buttons make this a remote that many like. Nice feel in the hand too.
The MRF350 has a separate antanna for rf issues and the ir outputs are addressable.