For controlling electronic devices, I've decided to try to use a Raspberry Pi.
I had tried an Arduino in the past and found it was a bit annoying to deal with having to re-program regularly with their flashing device and the serial/usb monitor, etc.
Raspberry Pi I believe is a much more powerful device that you can run Python (interpreted, no compile, lots of modules), and even a monitor on it.
Overall, I am not looking to challenge myself regarding the platform, I want to learn the electronics.
In the end I have purchased a Raspberry Pi 2, which is a quad-core Arm 7 processor with 1G RAM.
If I later think it's overkill, I can get other control systems.