Yeah the remote I had has a built-in cable release as well.IR remotes don't always fire reliably, which is why I bought an MC-30 to use with my D700. I understand the desire for more range, though. It was handy, on rare occasions, to be able to fire my D70 from several feet away.
Back when I was shooting film, I had this nifty device called either a "Gopher" or a "Hedgehog". It screwed onto the shutter with the typical needle plunger doo-dad, but also had about 20 feet of thin rubber tubing and a bulb at the other end - you'd squeeze the bulb, and the blast of air through the tubing would drive the plunger. It worked really well, and cost something like 5 or 10 bucks.
Precisely :]I'll just note that the Phottix model mentioned above is RF and therefore doesn't suffer the line of sight or range limitations of IR models.