Well, I was able to get the newest version of the AutoSPInstaller to build a farm.  Overall it was an immense pleasure to use and configure and a big improvement from earlier versions.  Some of the high points:

 

  1. Create a SQL Alias in the Script
  2. Automatically append a Farm level DB prefix to all databases
  3. Customize the name of the Performance Point database (yay!)
  4. Add PDF IFilter and Icon to SharePoint
  5. More Control over what un-needed services are disabled
  6. Install Office Web Apps (but more below)
  7. Create/Modify Managed Paths at Web App Creation
  8. Configuration of Cache Users for Web Apps
  9. More services to configure via scripting (pretty much everything)

Configure Outgoing Email

 

I did still hit a number of snags that I am going to have to work through.  Some of these were…

 

Issue Work Around
The launch batch file would execute and then when it would launch PowerShell it would immediately error out and the window closed too fast for me to see what was wrong. Open PowerShell "run as admin" and manually launch the main script file.
Office Web Apps installation caused an error when the farm was being created. From what I saw on the web, if OWA is installed before the farm is created it will throw an error that reads “New-SPConfigurationDatabase : The pipeline has been stopped. “ 
The fix appears to be to uninstall OWA and re-run the command (I note that I had to do a reboot after uninstalling)
Could not install using Local Accounts I talked with Brian Lalancette about this and he had never intended the code to work on a local install.  An older version worked but the new one does a check for the accounts being Domain accounts.  My work around was to make my VPC a DC (and DNS and this and that), but I think that if the code is just commented out that does the check it should work.
It would not accept some accounts as valid I created accounts (Domain ones) and the scripts validate that they are correct and have valid passwords prior to running and for some reason it would just crater on my Crawl Account.  I ended up just using an account that was already validated earlier and it worked fine and I went back in and changed it later (it was the Default Content Access Account)
Would not launch the Pre-requisites Not sure what happened here…I copied the install bits to the SharePoint folder and it said it could not find the pre-requisites.  I ended up running the installer from the folder and manually running the pre-requisites and it was fine.  Might have been looking in the wrong path.
Search Configuration still didn’t build out multi-farm topologies I was creating a two server farm with both units being crawlers and one as a primary query and one as a failover query.  It threw an error on the second box (when it should have provisioned the topologies) and I had to do it manually.  I haven’t dug too deeply into this one.

 

Overall I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars.  It is honestly 95% of what you need to configure a farm and if you do a fair amount of this…it will make your life much easier.  I was rushed and didn’t have a chance to really dig into the issues I found beyond a quick work around to get be running, but I suspect that most are pretty easy to use.  Highly recommended.