Tuner: Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-150 MCE (safe choice, can always buy a HD one later)
IR: USB-UIRT (kinda expensive, but priceless if it really can control all my devices flawlessly: satellite box, tv, home theater)
remote: I believe I could use any as long as I have it set up right, am I right?
Look on eBay for the PVR-150's. Make sure you get the right model. Just buy the card if you can, you don't need the bundled remote and IR Transceiver. It'll be cheaper to buy a card and just a remote separately.
eBay will also have cheap MCE Remotes. Get one from this group:http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Windows_MCE_Remote
The USB-UIRT is definitely the way to go. Mine control the satellite dish, tv and stereo quite easily, and I use ONE remote now instead of 4 or 5.