Advice on updating hardware

Yeah, I was looking at those XBM devices.  They seem pretty X-10-specific, though.  Would they be useful if I ended up going with UPB?  Or, is there a different signal meter in that price range (I guess $100 was a little too optimistic) that would be more generic?
Most of what I have plugged into wall sockets goes through cheap surge protectors.  Albeit, most are old, so they may end up letting most of the noise through, by now.
I see some noise filters advertised.  Do those need to be aware of what signals to let through?  IOW, if I put in an X-10 filter, will it think UPB packets are noise and try to kill them?
I may try unplugging my big CFL and unscrewing the little ones and see if the off signal will get through.  I may even have a couple of incandescent bulbs handy to put in place of the LEDs in the bathroom long enough to test.
OTOH, I'm hoping to gather enough info in the next week or two to pull the trigger on replacements.

The XTB devices are mostly all TW-523 and CM11A emulators.   UPB is totally different while it still is powerline.  I have a UPB repeater in place between the two phases.  I still have an old X10 signal meter but never use it anymore.  The UPB signals are higher than the X10.  The UPB software called Upstart will provide your signal watching.  You can benchmark you UPB network with the Upstart software.  UPB is painless as it just works.  I am currently typing this message in my workshop in the basement.  Many years ago installed CCFL lamps here and I have had no issues with X10.  (~20 CCFL).  I do also have a few UPS's down here with no filters and my lighting works fine.  Over the years here have divided up the circuits  for this and for that adding more breakers and getting granular with what is plugged in to what.
I see some noise filters advertised.  Do those need to be aware of what signals to let through? 
IOW, if I put in an X-10 filter, will it think UPB packets are noise and try to kill them?
Relating to updating or making what you have in X10 work have a look at Jeff's stuff. 
That said also give Insteon a spin and Z-Wave.  (I have a few Zigbee HV switches here which also work fine).
It really is up to you and what you feel comfortable with.  There are also wireless automated LED bulbs (and RGB) these days that you can try. 
The technology is moving very fast these days.  I do like to try new things (tinkering) but leave the stuff that works alone today.
Using software you can tinker with all of the technologies. 
Yeah, I've seen the smart bulbs.  But, since this is all pretty new, and we're now *quite* sure how long it will last, I think I'd prefer at this point to put the smarts (and the price) in the switch, and leave the bulbs cheap and dumb.  Actually, putting the smarts in each socket would be ideal, methinks.  Kind of like what they're doing in cars, now.  I'd love to stitch together the behaviors I want on a controller trigger, without having to worry about what sockets or outlets are ganged together on a given switch.  But, I don't see anyone doing that, just yet.
You mentioned Insteon.  Someone in this thread said that all Insteon switches require a neutral.  So, that's out, for me.
I'm reading Jeff's troubleshooting pages right now.
So, you're saying that UPB has diagnostics built right in?  Is there a good primer site on setting up UPB, and hopefully advice on devices?
Yeah here still legacy in that I have light switches for most lighting.  Putting the smarts in the bulb is nice but not sure how to deal with the switch on the wall. 
Here the wiring is relatively new at around 10 years old.  That and an obi wan electrician did over do the wiring a bit.  There are three way switches every place here.  IE: the second floor hallway has a 3 way switch outside of every bedroom (4) and bathrooms for the hallways lighting stuff. 
Upstart (UPB) has diagnostics for the UPB switches such that you can measure noise and signal strength on every one of your switches. Each switch configuration has pages chock full of tweaking this or that.  I have recently migrated many of the UPB switches to dual load and multipaddle.  I set up scenes or remote lighting stuff via the extra paddles on the switches. 
Right here on Cocoontech is a good place to ask about UPB.  Many UPB users here have been using it for many years now.  There are tutorials on the PCS site and they always have webinars on their stuff.  Register on the PCS website and you will start getting getting stuff about their webinars.
Mighty said:
You mentioned Insteon.  Someone in this thread said that all Insteon switches require a neutral.  So, that's out, for me.
UPB switches also require neutral wire. Once again, take a look at Lutron Caseta, or if your budget will allow, Radio RA2
All systems devices (even Caseta and X10) require a neutral if you are going to use LED or CFL bulbs. If you aren't yet, you will, when the incandescents are eventually outlawed.
Two problems. The leakage current to run the device is chopped up by the wicked current taken by the bulbs. Also, the LED / CFL bulbs can illuminate with so little current that they will flicker dimly constantly when connected to a two wire device that is Off.
Usually the only cure is not to use all LED / CFL bulbs or where multiple lamps are on the switch, install at least one incandescent to provide a smoother current to the device, and steal most of the leakage current away from the LED / CFL bulb  so it doesn't flicker when turned Off.
I have lots of smart bulbs but not for regular lighting. I doubt you want to get a mobile phone out, run some app, select the light to be turned on each time you enter a room. Mine are only for colour effects and my ISY looks after them when I control them from a single Insteon SwitchLinc dimmer that controls all 18 light groups in the room.
I have Christmas, Easter,party and every colour selectable, as well as multiple levels of full on to almost off whites, on the same switch. They also do colour sequences to indicate midnight and garage door left open.
I had one LED bulb in the bathroom that stayed lit.  I replaced it with a different brand.
So, you're saying that the fact my X-10 works at all is just blind luck?  That my poor reliability is probably due to the LEDs along with lack of neutral?  There's no other way to economically filter out that noise?  I guess I'm not fully following what you mean by "chopped up."
Just as a completely vague ballpark guess, can anyone guesstimate what it would it cost to update the wiring in a 2400 sq ft 1973 house in the Dallas area?  I doubt I'd ever do it.  I'm just curious.
"chopped up" means when you look at the current waveform on an oscilloscope it is jagged and not smooth.
Anywhere you have multiple switches in one box you will typically have a neutral wire as it was the easiest wiring route for the wireman to get it done.
Single boxes don't have enough air space for the wiring electrician to bring the neutral into the box and make all the connections to the light. Besides having much more volume inside, it was a lot easier to run from ceiling fixture to ceiling fixture for the main circuit run and just run 14/2 to each switch. The deeper boxes cost much more money and weren't needed for a simple cheap switch.
You would need to switch some 14/2 cables for 14/3 and run a neutral. This usually takes some crawling around in your attic and possibly cutting a few access holes inside  closet or two where it can't be easily seen.
The other method was previously posted by BLH in post #5. With Insteon you can link devices together into scenes and they can act as if they were hardwired and you could never tell the difference. It would takes some wiring changes and two Insteon devices though.
The third option is to use two wire devices and buy lots of incandescent bulbs while you still can. HA can turn them off for economy.
It appears they deal with the leakage current by specifying the minimum bulb power rating that can be used.

"In-wall dimmer has a minimum load requirement of 25 W or one bulb from the
compatible bulb list."

The compatible bulb list shows that a minimum of about 12 watts of LED is the smallest amount of power that can be used. When approved bulbs are lower power rating that 12 watts the note  specifies that two or more and sometimes three or more must be used. This is probably to avoid the Off flicker that all 2 wire switches and dimmers have as a side effect.
This restriction shouldn't be too much to ask on a wall dimmer for most rooms. In multiple socket rooms a small incandescent could be paralleled with the LED bulb to stop the flicker. PITA though.
This Insteon 2 wire dimmer switch gets away with the same thing by also specifying a minimum 25 watt bulb.  I have 27 watt LED bulbs in my pot lights in a large room area but these are definitely not for bedrooms or cozy rooms where less lighting is wanted. The other negative is it is rf only but with nearby dual band, dual mesh, units that is usually  not a problem.
So, if I'm reading this conversation correctly, as long as I have enough load on the circuit, then I should end up with a reliable switch, even without a neutral?  But, I am going to be limited to wireless solutions.  For example, UPB absolutely requires a neutral?
Does anyone make a little adapter-type device to sit in a light socket to add the appropriate load?  If not, that sounds like a business opportunity :)
I know picta likes Caseta :)  Does that work with the popular software systems?  Would you agree that this is a fair description of the differences between Caseta and RA2? I still haven't heard why some people dislike Z-Wave so much.  And, are there any Zigbee enthusiasts on here?
If I went with RA2, would I need to go through their training to use it?  Or, is CQC all I need to do everything?  And, what does the training entail?  Is it mostly just a primer on state machines?
Does anyone have any good online sources they like?  Amazon seems to be really hit or miss in this area.
UPB does require a neutral.  Also, Zigbee is a great standard, but Zigbee wall switches are quite limited.  Its a bit chicken-and-egg scenario. In a few years, but not quite yet.  Many people use Z-Wave with success, but others have lots of problems, especially as the number of devices grow.  Zigbee actually works better the more devices you get, but Z-Wave tends to get overloaded. Who to order from, there are several sources, and its probably best just to work with some that will help you out.  There are many, but Worthington Solutions/ASI Home, Automated Outlet, Home Controls, Smarthome are all good sources, as are others. I think Coontech has a small directory of sellers.
For the RA2, you'd have to take their training, but as I understand it it's just an online thing. You do need to have their setup software to enroll devices to the RA2 network and whatnot. With CQC you would then load the RA2 driver, and provide a simple text file that maps RA2 device addresses to friendly names that the CQC driver will use to expose the various RA2 devices, the you can control those from CQC. There are also some fancier things you can do if you want, like set up Lutron keypad buttons to send CQC commands to do things. 
@ano As I said in my original post, if given a choice, I'd prefer to support Zigbee.  But, I haven't been able to find many actual products.
I'll try to check out those sites you mentioned.
@Dean Oh, since you recommended RA2 I had assumed you had direct experience with it.  What is it that leads you to recommend it?
Vizia+ low wattage switch/dimmer do support no neutral configuration (although I try to avoid them). They do have a minimum load requirement. You can still buy incandescent halogen bulbs. I would not recommend LED lights for these versions unless you have more than one load/socket.