@Dennislevin , what is a "real" remote for you? Do you mean number keys to directly access channels by number? If so, "no soup for you" has been the motto with Roku through years of customers asking for that.
I have seen a video showing a TCL Android TV responding to an RCA universal remote with number keys. It would display the numbers, and change to the channel. (Worked as expected.). They used a TCL code 12434 to get the universal remote working that way with the TCL Android TV. The TV doesn't come with a numeric remote. So, you wouldn't suspect this would work (after having expectations set so low by Roku, for so long.). But, it worked for that one tv. I assume they all will do it. I'm getting one in a week or two.
One problem with the streaming sticks (Roku's or anyone's) is that they're typically behind the tv & use RF instead of IR. That limits your ability to use universal remotes. I'm using an Amazon Fire Lite stick, and a Sofabaton F2 which slips onto the Alexa remote, and has barely enough buttons to control the Roku TV. It works. It's not ergonomic. There's another clip-on remote. I forget the name. But, it has 1 or 2 too few buttons to operate the tv completely.
Personally, I like the idea of having streaming separated from the tv. I like not having all my eggs in one basket (after seeing how Roku's untested software updates are breaking tvs). Plug-n-play is looking mighty good to me now. But, if I did this again, I might look at a more expensive streaming "box" that uses IR.
"People are often amazed at how much we’ve done with the number of engineers we’ve got." (Roku CEO Anthony Wood, Austin Statesman, Oct 4, 2019). "Amazed" is one way of putting it.