Moving on with my Arduino experiments I decided to experiment with the infrared library (I said in the original post that one should be able to find a library for almost any piece of hardware he/she want to connect to Arduino) :).
After some research I found this library which worked almost out of the box. The only problem with this library is that it don't have the definitions for my TV (Samsung) so the only option would be to use "raw" data which is not as convenient as the "sendXXX()/decodeXXX()" methods. After a little bit more research I was able to find this post which describes how to change the IR library to work with Samsung TVs).
So here is the prototype for my new remote control.
So far it is pretty limited (only turn on/off the tv) but I have big plans for it :)