Great Qs, Sir Tim. We're of the belief that most everything from a home automation standpoint can be done on Android or iPhone, particularly if you're starting from scratch (and aren't looking for enterprise-class services). As for Windows Home Server? You've still got a few options, but has anything come along to trump up? If you've got a say in all this, sound off in comments below!
"A while back I was looking at getting the HP Media Smart Home Server, but some time has gone by and I'm wondering if that is still the best solution going around. I want something that is ideally priced at a max of $1000; it has to be something small, not noisy or too power-hungry, and it has to be something that I can hide away. I'll use it for network storage, backup, streaming and remote access. I was also wondering if it's worth getting a good universal remote to dim lights, turn on the TV, amp, PS3 and maybe even some home server control -- or have the iPhone / Android apps become so good that they are now the best option? Thanks!"