Not sure where this thread is heading, but I'm currently putting together an A/V system along the lines of Marty's thinking, I think. I'd like to touch a remote as little as possible.
At the moment, I've got an Apple TV and a couple of other devices plugged into an auto-switching HDMI switch. The output goes to my TV via an audio extractor that feeds the audio to a class-T amp, which I have been leaving on much of the time. No receiver.
One problem is the Apple TV, which doesn't ever turn off and even in standby it doesn't cut its signal to the HDMI switch. So if the XBox is active, and I send audio to the Apple TV, there's no change in state to make it switch back to Apple TV.
Now what I really need is an auto-sensing toslink switch so I can get my TV audio into the system without touching it. And if that existed, I could just use my Airport Express instead of the ATV for audio.
And just throwing this out there -- if you want auto-off, how about presence-sensing or timer-based power strips?