I believe I found an answer to the problem that I've had with ear buds remotes that I've been using. I've been using an adapter [less than $15 at Best Buy or $8 on Amazon] from Belkin that literally works with all of my ear buds. It allows you to plug any set of head phone or ear buds and has its own volume up/volume down/next song/previous song and pause.
I've tried it on Panasonic, Apple, Sony, Phillips and
One item I do want to point out is that I've only found this to work flawlessly on the Nano. When I tried to use it with the iPhone, I had problems with the volume buttons. The iPod seemed to work just as well with this adapter as the Nano, but I only used it on the current iPods, the earlier versions may/could have problems.
As you will find on the Amazon reviews, I have been warned that I may not be happy for long. There are complaints that the adapter doesn't last long [earlier reviews have it breaking out with continued use]. But for me it's worked like a charm on the Nano to date. Maybe Belkin improved it based on past review and the one I picked up in January was the improved model. But at $8 on Amazon, it's not much of a risk for you to try. Especially when you can keep your favorite ear buds and just switch the remote out.
For any of you interested, here's the Amazon link to it: