hi beever, firstly, not trying to offend, if the ipronto suits you (fantastic good job philips).
However let me address some points of your confusion.
1) lack of infra red, the infra red is sent directly from the main pc via a slink-e ir emitter via ir repeaters. I agree that this is not as sexy as the built in ir but it has the ability to fire different ir to different rooms if required so the added function is worth it. In normal use this isn#t an issue.
2) It was discontinued because it was too much too soon and at $3000 was too expensive.
3) lack of hard buttons, bummer agreed, but the larger screen is the tradeoff. I have equivalent buttons on all of my screens.
4) customiseation and sexy screens and buttons, I think you should check out the mainlobby software ( www.cinemaronline.com
), it allows full customiseation of everything, and includes some very sexy screens and buttons to start you off (oh and its only $60, thirty quid. Will be updated over time to improve interface even further.
5) file sharing, only time will tell, the software is still in its infancy but is very pollished and useable already. Some files and buttons are already available on the website.
6) Boot times and stability, ooh windows takes ages to boot, i agree with that.
BUT the progear can be set to display off after 2 minutes of inactivity, i leave mine on all the time in its cradle and just touch the screen for instant on. Mine has never crashed once, not bad for a win 98 based machine.
7) It is made out of tough magnesium alloy, the case could take a fair knock, i am sure of that.
8) the battery can withstand over 5 hours of constant use (networked and full resolution).
if what i have said here, and after you have checked out the cinemar website you are still sold on the ipronto then that is good too.
As you rightly said each to their own. just offering an alternative.
Ipronto, not a choice, just a lack of options (armageddon).