Have you attempted installing SilverStripe before this point you're having issues? Perhaps it's leaving behind some stuff in the database. Try dropping the whole SS_mysite database using phpMyAdmin (or the database you called it during installation), then reinstall SS 2.0.1.
This is what happened with me. I couldn't login, until I realised my MAMP had the old database from a previous install kicking around - which required dumping before I could actually login properly.
But you're right, these things shouldn't really happen. We're trying our best to root out all the install problems, but it's inevitable that we can't cover all different types of server setups and configuration types.
Thanks also for trying SilverStripe,