Browsing around the www, I came across this simple, easy to use development board, which seemed just right for my project. As I've said in an earlier post, I want to reduce my efforts as much as possible, so this Arduino MEGA board was just what I was looking for, as it is built around a powerful enough microcontroller, the ATMega1280, it exposes all I/O pins (analog, digital, PWM etc), and has a simple, open-source programming language, as well as a pretty bare IDE which also allows you to upload the software via USB.
Could I ask for more?
Yes. I could wish for ready-made libraries for working with the serial port, PWM and such, but they are already there. And, as an open-source project, it benefits from continuous improvement from all over the world.
I forgot to mention that it's pretty cheap, too.