My point is that those who would demand that the Atari OS ROM should be given away, or bundled with the emulators because they can't be bothered to do it themselves, are not the people we should be looking to attract to the community. It's not an issue of what they know, but of how much they're willing (or not willing) to learn.
You of course have the right to your own opinion, and I'm not trying to take that away from you. However I believe there are potentially people that come into this purely from a user point of view, be that gamers or otherwise. Nothing wrong with that.
I think the thing that disturbed me the most was your previous comment...
The fact that these "new people" that the OP wants to attract so badly can't even configure an emulator, or don't care enough to learn, tells me that they don't share the same passion, wouldn't fit in with the community anyway, and probably wouldn't have much to contribute, so I agree ... I'm not sure why we should want to bring them in.
Specifically you said they wouldn't have much to contribute. Same passion for what? Learning the technical details of how to get an emulator to work? Not everyone is the same in this regard, and you know what... That's ok.
So let's say we removed that obstacle, and gave them an emulator that was ready to go as the OP suggested, and better yet made it extremely simple to download games as well. They start playing those games, discovering ways to get through different levels, uncovering bugs, and perhaps coming up with some new ideas along the way to make the game even better. They feedback those thoughts to the game designer, who in turn likes what they are hearing and integrates those suggestions into the next version. Not only did they contribute, but everyone wins.
So not to make a bigger deal out this then what I have already... In this world if given a chance, everyone has the potential to contribute . And even though I'm not a noobie when it comes to this stuff, I also tire of always having to jump through hoops to get some new piece of software to work, and greatly appreciate the apps that just do from the get go, with no instructions needed.
Edit: I hope you truly have fun building a 1088XEL, but this too isn't everyone's cup of tea or in their skill set, so that's why MacRorie is also providing turn-key versions.