Ok, I got it working....partially. Best guess, the settings on the PAC from my first attempt got fouled up and was causing the issue where the head unit controls would not respond.
I reset the PAC and programmed the volume up/down steering controls. Works great! The steering volume controls works and the head unit controls response even after turning the key off then on.
Now I just have to redo it all, programming all of the steering controls. May take me a few attempts to get it right.
Any one alse programmed the PAC for a Sony head unit? This is what I have on my cheat sheet:
PAC Values Steering Wheel Controls
1) volume up Right up
2) volume down Right down
3) mute NOT USED
4) Track/Seek Up Left Up
5) Track/Seek Down Left Down
6) Source Right Center
7) Preset/Disc Up Left Up or Left Center
8) Preset/Disc Down Left Down
9) Band NOT USED
I think I'm close, but at least one point is throwing me off, and that's item #7. Looking at the owners manual, the preset up is left center when in radio mode, but disc up left up when in CD mode. I don't have a cd player, but I assume disc up would work the same for my ipod, not sure.
Any advise? Worse case is I just play around w/ the programming and see what i get, but would be nice if someone else has already forged this path.