I recently started working on MacBook Pro, you have to try it all. In the past I had Windows and Ubuntu, so now the time has come to try OS X. Just like every other OS, OS X also has annoyances, of which iTunes is one of my biggest annoyance. Did they replace that team already? Unfortunately you sometimes need it, so I can't get rid of it.
As default music player I now try Songbird and added the keyboard shortcut add-on, which works perfectly. But the downside is that every time you hit a music key (next, previous, play/pause), it also launches iTunes.
The easiest way to get rid of this behavior was nicely noted in the following post:
Basically, you just need to execute:
launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.rcd.plist
No more, no less.