These days a universal remote is practically a necessity. In my home I will often be using a TV, set top box and audio receiver at once. Keeping three totally different remotes around was becoming increasingly convenient and after damaging one I decided it was time to go universal.
I picked up the Phillips SRU7060 refurbished from Amazon. I was very lucky to grab it for only £15, brand new this would set you back in the region of £50. I don't think I would ever have coughed up that much for it but second hand via ebay, amazon or similar, this remote could be an absolute bargain. Firstly, it has incredible build quality. A hard plastic base with a metal faceplate, it has already survived being dropped and stepped on enough times to demolish your average TV remote. Furthermore, the buttons are clear, uncluttered and with text that shows no signs of rubbing off. This makes buying a second hand model much less of a risk as I imagine this remote control was built to survive. Also worth noting, while in use the remote has a backlight feature, this illuminates all the buttons with a red light that is clear and pleasant. However, for those worried about battery life it can be disabled; I wouldn't worry too much though as I've now had this remote for about a year with the backlight enabled and it's still using the original AAs.
I'd describe this as a mid-range universal remote. Unlike your typical pound shop cheapie, it contains a huge range of preset controls from most common manufacturers of electronic equipment. Up to six separate sets of controls can be mapped with an easy selector between them and the remote can even learn new controls from your old remotes. It has enough buttons to map most functions easily and comes with directional and selective buttons, this will allow you to programme any buttons necessary to access the intricate service menus and setup functions. With a bit of time finding the right model codes and teaching it any missing functions, this remote will probably meet your every need.
What it lacks, however, is the more sophisticated form of programming found on the £100 and above remote controls such as the logitech Harmony remotes. This remote will not allow you to load in pre-programmed button sets from the internet or other sources. This means that generally you will need your old remote controls to teach it any missing controls, if your TV was made after the remote or comes from a more obscure manufacturer then you may have trouble getting it full programmed.
All in all, this is still an excellent remote. It is very well designed, takes six complete button layouts at a time and seems to have very good battery life. While it lacks the more advanced functions of a truly expensive remote, it is far superior to a cheap substitute and will easily meet most people's needs.