Your last paragraph concerning the tactile feel. I have one of the Harmony remotes with a touch screen and it is amazing as I can preset functionality and have the right devices start in one go, but if the rest of the remote was like that, I would cut myself. Touch screens do not work for certain things.
After using my Android as a remote for XBMC. I can honestly say that I would prefer buttons over touch screen. I found myself constantly looking down at the screen. Granted, after a while my thumb learned the position of some touch screen buttons. There have been many times I have for instance hit two of the virtual buttons at once or missed an intended one. I prefer being able to actually feel the buttons on the remote. If there were on-screen feedback for remote apps, for instance a transparent button overlay with what is appearing on your TV in the background, a smartphone remote would work. Some blu ray players have smartphone capabilities with decent on screen feedback. It depends on how the app is designed and the capabilities of the device being controlled. It's possible to stream TV to a smartphone. Stream on-screen feedback to the remote app, control your TV from any room in the house. I doubt conventional remotes would completely be done away with it's hard to say.
I have the same style remote as MayhemMatthew (a Harmony 900 in my case) and I actually choose it over the Harmony 1100 which is pure touch screen. They were both the same price, but after playing with both of them I decided that I really wanted buttons.
Smooth Creations LANShark "Blue Flame" + ASUS G73JH-A2 + ASUS EeePC S101HYes it's the original InfinityzeN
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