Ok for anybody else having problems with their remote this is one thing to try:
Go to the CVS repository for lirc and search for some distinguishing feature from your 'lsusb' call..
eg. Download CVS snapshot: http://lirc.org/cvs.html
my 'lsusb' showed me: Bus 004 Device 007: ID 0609:0334 SMK Manufacturing, Inc.
Searching that for SMK: "grep -ri SMK *"
Saw that is it in lirc_mceusb2.c. Then you can go to the CVS site and run 'annotate' on the file to see which version has your remote added. Download that version of the file (in my case 1.30). Download the src lirc from http://lirc.org/, copy in your version of the file and follow instructions.
Other stuff that I had to do: (I think this stuff is necessary anyway ;-)
* Linuxmce uses a wrapper call to start lircd. In order for linuxmce to use the new lircd you installed you must update the script at /etc/init.d/lirc with the script included with lirc src code (contrib/lirc.debian)
* cp the .rules file included in the lirc to /etc/udev/rules.d/10-lirc.rules (not sure if the numbers were necessary but all other rules had numbers). Change the "lirc/%n" to "lirc" (so the /dev will be created at /dev/lirc to make things easy)
* Looks like the src version of lircd looks at /etc/lircd.conf for the config file. I bet you can change that with a ./configure option but I just created a link to where the old version of lircd looked for the file (/etc/lircd/lircd.conf) just in case
Hope this helps! And thanks for all the help!