I use the xbox media remote and am hoping to stay away from having to use the controller. Once I get the thing in its final resting spot I will try the Logitech diNovo mini and see if it's compatible. Right now I have a laptop style USB keyboard that i slip in to type on.
I have the media remote - works very well, my harmony remote also works very well with the xbox. I have a 2nd xbox (dead dvd drive, bought for cheap) that is only used for netflix and media streaming from my home computer. If you are looking at multiple machines, the Xbox Live Family account (4 gold live accounts) for $99 is a great deal. If you have an existing subscription(s) on the accounts - they just extend the time for the new family account.
A family pack is only necessary if you need multiple people on multiple xboxes at the same time. Otherwise, with the latest update, you can leave the same profile on as many xboxes as you want, as long as you're only logged into one at a time.
That is only since this latest update? I wasn't aware it worked any differently but now come to think of it, that was why people used to sometimes carry their profiles on USB sticks to make it more portable.