I went to Best Buy and bought a Philips "learning" remote for about $30. (They tried to show me ones for $80 and up, I said, NO THANKS.) The folks there said that a lot of remotes do get returned--some models more than others. I believe this, as there are just a lot of functions that they might not do.
I'm much happier with the Philips--at least it functionally allows me to put the other remotes away--not just add to the remote pile. Before this I had had a Sony remote--which was sophisticated on the face of it--but was a pain to program and commonly-used buttons started failing after a few months. Also a common problem, I hear.
Anyway, there are SOME good ones out there; I don't think any of them are perfect. I wouldn't count on finding the codes for "off-brands"--but sometimes remotes allow for a way to scan up or down to find the proper code. I've tried this before (on the RCA); you have to follow the owner's manual's directions and scroll perhaps 200 times (no joke).
[This message has been edited by k2 (edited January 01, 2004).]
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