My, but that really does sound familiar. Our boy Arthur (now just over two) was exactly the same. He literally fought sleep.
After much trial and error, and endless frustration, we found that a strict bedtime routine worked very well. We started putting him down for bed earlier (7:30) than we had been, and we kept it the same time every night. The bedtime ritual started after dinner, first with a warm bath, followed by a baby massage - laying him down after the bath on the change table and gently massaging him with a baby moisturizer. Then the clean diaper and pajamas. Finally, we turned on some quiet music (Peaceful Baby is our standard), turned the lights off in the room, and then I walked with him held against my chest. The first few times it still took a while to get him to sleep this way, but within a few nights he was asleep about 20 minutes after turning the music on.
Putting him to bed earlier actually had the effect of letting him sleep longer, and better. Before we started this routine, he just got too worked up and over tired to sleep well.
Oh, and we implemented a stuffed animal rule: part of the routine was holding a small, stuffed animal with him while we walked to the music.
He's two years old now, and we still have basically the same routine. If it ain't broke...
We also found the book No Cry Sleep Solution