I got this remote on ebay. After some serious trial and error, I finally got my components programmed. It took a while to find the "right" codes for them. One thing I realized is you have to check other buttons to test the code other than the ones recommended by the screen instructions. In particular, the skip buttons for the DVD/Bluray players...even then, the internal menu might not look quite right. I have them as close as I'm gonna...then I used the learning instructions to complete it.
As far as macros. I ultimately decided to use the main menu buttons. One for turning my cable system on. Another to turn off. Another to turn my bluray on. Another to turn off and switch back to cable. 2 more to switch my CD player on and off. And finally a button to switch off the cable system entirely. I just like having the macros on the main screen instead of internal to one of the components. Heck, I don't have 18 components anyway.
So far, I love it. It took a lot of time, but I can't say it was hard once I started to get adjusted. Not sure about using the punch through. I don't think I'll really need to use it...except regarding the audio. I did use it to make sure my volume/mute buttons defaulted to the surround sound receiver.