From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:yocto-You are not missing a thing, because I don't think you are the target user for the Build Appliance. :-)
What I did find is that there are a number of *very* smart people who were failing at doing a build with the Yocto Project. This was because they either had:
* an outdated distro (like Fedora 6 in one case).
* lacked certain packages
* were behind a firewall and didn't have sufficient proxies set up.
As a result, they had a very bad first experience with YP because they couldn't get things going right away and it might not have been obvious why. The Build Appliance is an attempt to solve most of these by assuming that a power user could get VMWare installed and then install and boot one guest and be up and running their first build without problems.
So far, I don't have a lot of feedback as to whether this assumption is true or not. By the way, I would have preferred using Virtual Box, because I love the fact that it's open source and really easy to use. But my first attempt to do a multi-threaded build in Virtual Box 2 years ago resulted in disaster, so I have shied away from it ever since.