I read the Scalable, affordable home automation question and answers with great interest. Simply Automated looks pretty cool & so do the ideas behind Z-Wave.
What I'm looking for, I don't seem to find - although it would seem to me like the obvious thing to do.
Is there any reasonably affordable system out there that centralises all power to say a single patch panel?
Get the power from just outside the breaker, through the patch panel to the switches and dimmers just there (really, just a collection of individual switching or dimming devices, within a few feet of the circuit breaker board) and direct to the target device (mostly lights, some dimmed others switched - that one is the wire that runs within walls and things).
Somehow plugged to that 'central' patch panel are all the controls (wall switches, buttons, dials and computer interface). I would imagine that it would be most efficient to use low power wires for the controls, but I actually don't really mind if they have to be regular home power.
Or is it just me not seeing the writing on the wall and that's exactly what some of those systems do?