I created a screencast of the initial configuration of CiviCRM, Drupal, and CiviCRM Cron to show off the first install error, warning, and even notice free release where CiviCRM can be installed and run from the /profiles/civicrm_starterkit/modules directory.
Thanks to everyone who helped with the testing in different environments. This should make getting started with CiviCRM and Drupal MUCH easier. Now seems like a good time to admit I've had an ulterior motive for creating this install profile. Because CiviCRM doesn't use Drupal.org for packaging and distribution, we don't get an accurate "site enabled" number for the CiviCRM module. There are good reasons not to host CiviCRM's code on Drupal.org, but the result is CiviCRM is under represented and left off of lists of popular Drupal modules. Distributions have their own usage numbers http://drupal.org/project/distributions. While I doubt the CiviCRM Starter Kit will catch up w/ Commerce's 4000+ site count, the CiviCRM Starter Kit can certainly top several of the deal/enterprise/product distributions. Drupal + CiviCRM is a great solution for both CMS and CRM. By using the Starter Kit as a base in your next project, you are helping to keep CiviCRM well represented on Drupal.org.
Thanks again to @denverdataman, @coderdan, @franskuipers, and @gsoundsgood! If you have a few minutes to try the install with your host, language, version of PHP, etc, the issue queue is empty. We can't fix problems we don't know about.