Check out the Marantz RC5000 or it's cousin, the Phillips Pronto. You can get them for around $300.00 retail. They're powerful and versatile. I spec them into my installations all of the time.
BMP- be aware that while there is a large library of downloadable simulations of OEM remotes, and they are learnable as well, there is a considerable learning curve for the Pronto. Most of the controls are "soft", i.e., they must be created and programmed on the LCD for each device. I THINK that the Marantz may have a built in library of devices, I know my Pronto does not and really wish that it did. I also have a Home Theater Master 9000 which has hard buttons only and an extensive library of buit in devices, but the one I have is about 4 years old and did not have commands for my Loewe TV. They (Home Theater Master)have a web site, and there is another web site devoted exclusively to remotes Remote Central.com, with lots of links. Give it a try. If you need the url, you can email me.
Bmpnyc, Remote Central makes the Pronto appear more complicated than it really is. The key to the Pronto is the programming software. Once downloaded into a WinPC you can attach the Pronto and commence to customize your remote. The software is quite easy to use. The difficult part is figuring out how you want to control your system. Count on spending a minimum of 2 hours to get it up and running. After you've used it awhile, you'll probably start further tweaking. I've been using the Pronto for nearly 3 years and I cannot imagine operating my HT without it.
thanks 61, I have a Mac, am I correct in asuming that if I can download a WinPc program I can use the Pronto software? Also, how do the basic controls feel to use when it is dark? I like to be able to feel the fast forward, rewind, pause, etc. when the room is darkened, or at least see the controls easily.
Bmpnyc- there are dedicated hard keys for channel change and volume (and maybe mute) and two programable hard keys on each screen. But the keys for changing devices are "soft" (on the LCD screen). There is a back light, which makes the LCD "keys" visible, but there is a severely limited hard key capability. The Home Theater Master remotes might be more to your liking; I only got the Pronto due to a very good price and the ability to control the Loewe TV which has lots of non-standard codes and a menu driven remote logic. Check out the HTM web site and Remote central to get comments on those devices. I'm not trashing the Pronto; if you've got the time and the inclination you can set up some amazing macros and really do a lot; I just haven't had the time and I'm not much of a programmer.