HouseBot is the best thing since sliced bread. It's extensible, allows for all kinds of configurations, and the support is incredible. When a recent update started crashing my machine, Scott personally responded to my every question and even emailed back and forth with me until he worked out a solution. All this support... and it doesn't cost a dime! With the stability of Windows XP and the (now) stability of this program, I don't have to wonder whether or not my lights will come on when I ask them to.
I just poked around the HouseBot site... and I don't even have a last name for Scott. He lives in Alpharetta, GA... just down the road (about four hours!) Maybe there will be some occasion for us to hook up and trade HA stories.
BTW, I've gotten a little bit lazier these days, and I don't like to climb the stairs to see the home automation computer. :-D I'm using VNC so that I can see and interact with my desktop on my laptop. I also tried gotomypc.com which works very well, especially over the Internet, but I can't see paying $19.95 a month for it. Ouch!