>I find it humourous that this thread started because of a 404 error,
>something that has nothing to do with OE itself.

But 404 (and similar) errors do have to do with OE.   I don't think I've ever done starting-from-scratch Angstrom build without having an issue with several of the myriad servers it draws upon.    404 errors, slightly changed CRC codes, etc. 

But OE works wonderfully for me.  I believe the problem is one of poor documentation, poor expectation management, and poor error reporting from the shell.   The directory names and structures can be odd (everything important ends up in a directory called 'tmp' ??)  I learned it by inspection of the system itself.  And it takes time, and requires a pretty solid core understanding of many aspects of linux distros, cross-compiling, and many of the tools used by OE.   I started on OE thinking I could get my own custom Angstrom  in a day or two, when really it took me weeks to traverse the learning curve.    But, in the end, I'm glad I stuck it out for those few weeks, and it's been pretty smooth sailing since.