I understand. But you forget that harmony's database also comes primarily from user learns. They just happen to have a heck of a lot more users, hence more codes. And most of the discretes come from JP1ers like me or others who have remotes that use pronto hex codes. I've personally sumitted close to 8000 codes to logitech to date (by means other than learns) which were absent from their database prior. Your onkyo alone probably has over 300 codes, only a fraction of which are in the harmony database to this day. Personally, my devices on harmony were nearly as lacking as they are on Xsight, I added several hundred codes the first few days I got my first harmony.
I agree with all your points regarding the programming interface. My complaints are too numerous to list. Unfortunately it's the best you can do with a non-JP1 remote at this price point. It's still on par with harmony, their closest competitor. Built-in multi-zone codes are rare in cheap remotes like this.
I recommend the RCA RCRP05B at $15 most places. If that's too much, any comcast cable remote with the red OK button is a good second choice at $3 shipped from ebay. There are over 100 JP1 models that we know of, so you may already own one and not know it since they OEM for many, many manufacturers.
If you get a JP1 remote, post your code search in the JP1 forums
so more of our experts can help.