I think I'm done with standard remotes. My first real programmable remote was the Harmony 360 remote which was awesome, but after 4 years several buttons no longer worked and neither did the various fixes. Went to the Monster AVL-300 which was also quite good, although bulkier and clumsier than the Harmony, but it only lasted one year before crucial buttons stopped working. Next up was the URC R-50, which was supposed to be very rugged and reliable. It was an enormous pain to program without a PC interface, but I eventually had everything working right, but it also lasted just one year and now the screen is dead.
So I think I'm done. These things are too fragile and unreliable and I hate the artificial limitations put on them. So I think it's time for a smartphone app, no buttons to break, control whatever I want, etc.
I would prefer something open source that people are always working on, making skins and plugins for, etc. Definitely prefer programming on the PC to doing it on the remote/phone itself, but would prefer not to have to connect to the web interface of a company that will vanish. No artificial limitations like only 8 devices or whatever. I'd love something with variables, that remembers power states, etc. Working with something like USB-UIRT would be great, otherwise I'd definitely prefer third party IR transmitters to some proprietary thing. I need either activity-based or something like the URC where I can basically set up "devices" to act as activities -- i.e. a "device" called "xbmc on projector" where the transport buttons control xbmc, the volume buttons control my receiver, and various other buttons control the projector, hdmi switcher, etc.
There are a lot out there like irule, Djit, irdroid, androidlirc or whatever, etc. Who prefers what? I'm currently researching but would like to get the latest opinions here.