If you get one of these, read the latest TRX documentation, as the TX and RX are slightly rearranged equivalents.
This device appears to be the same or very similar: , the links on that page includes a programming guide and a code library.
They are single chips with an external crystal that communicate up to 300m using FSK at 433, 868 or 915MHz. They have auto tuning, RSSI, and programmable gain, channel and sensitivity.
They are controllable through SPI, and provide a clock, interrupt pins and low battery indicator for use without an Arduino.
Getting the status register back (including RSSI) is easy. Getting the FIFO to work has not been achieved yet.