That's a great guide you made for the Digi Portserver.
The TS16 were super cheap on Ebay mid last year. I passed on several around $50, now they seemed to have jumped back up to a few hundred. That's what I get for hesitating.
If I understand your question correctly - I would use non amp versions of Sonos for sources, with a WHA controller from HTD or that new Monoprice one. Both offer controllers with built in amps. You won't get the control you are looking for in just an amp, unless you use a separate Sonos for each zone.
8x Sonos would probably cost more than 3x Sonos and WHA controller.
Both have keypads. HTD has an app (at a cost,) never seen it or used it. Monoprice unit you would...
Insteon stuff is very cheap for lighting control. ISY994 and serial PLM for controller is under $300. Irule's ISY module is $25.It's far from expensive or half baked.ISY can have a learning curve, but you get out of it what you put in. There's a multitude of great, inexpensive lighting solutions.
If your devices can be controlled via IP or HTTP you don't need any extra hardware except your phone/tablet. If you need IR/serial gateways, global cache stuff is cheap and rock solid.
I wouldn't expect A/V integrators to have any interest in iRule - there's little margin in it and it's not dealer controlled. Can't blame you for that.
Usually. It won't be connected to the switch itself, it will be under a wire nut in the box if they ran them to switch location. If your house is a year old, you should have them at switch location since it's code as far as I know.
You could do what you want easily with Insteon, without a central controller. A Keypad and some switches/dimmers could do your first request by setting scenes on the switches themselves. You could also accomplish this using Insteon motion sensors.
They don't make 3 way switches, so you just buy two dimmers/switches and create a virtual 3 way. This can be done on the switches.
There are Insteon controllers if you want more advanced automation.
Insteon does needs a...
Adding HVAC/lighting/shades/lock control to iRule couldn't be simpler once you buy the right hardware. I'm guessing Roomie is the same way.I went from URC -> iRule and unless iRule implodes would never go back.