I have a Harmony 676. It took me several days to “get it,” but ever since, it’s been wonderful – reliable, intuitive, and I can use it without having to look at the buttons. I just got a HD DirecTV DVR, and it took all of 10 minutes to set it up for the 676. I have about half a dozen other universal remotes gathering dust because they all had one or more liabilities that I just couldn’t get around. The Harmony works like a charm.
However, the “several days to get it” were difficult ones for me, and I’ve been an engineer for 20+ years… The Harmony defines “activities,” which are collections of components used for a particular, uh, activity. Say, watching a DVD requires your TV, DVD and amplifier to be turned on, with the video switched to thus-and-such and the audio switched to thus-and-such. So you press the “watch DVD” button, and if any of the components are off, the remote turns them on, and then proceeds to select the proper video input, video output, amplifier component, etc. My problem was that I wasn’t accustomed to the remote keeping track of all that, and I wanted to program macros. As soon as I gave up on macros and trusted the Harmony, everything was cool.
(There’s a roundabout way to program macros, but it’s difficult.)
Also, I’ve had one DVD player (Toshiba) that didn’t have an eject button on the remote, but which had an “eject” command available to the Harmony. So now I can eject DVDs from that player. I think that’s due to Toshiba using a standardized set of commands for all of its DVD players. YMMV.