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Can anyone suggest a simple GUI that works with a remote control from which I can play video files and DVDs, and mount removable media? Preferably not MythTV, because I already spent two weeks trying to set that up, and it's still not working. Something that I can put in my ~/.xsessionrc that just works, or works after editing a simple configuration file and the like.

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What did you end up using? I've used mplayer and sourceforge.net/projects/mywebplayer –  polynomial Oct 2 '11 at 6:34

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I'm using XBMC for this.

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