I went to write a reply to this last night but walked away from the computer when something came up. I now see a lot of what I was going to write already has been said, but I'll share my thoughts anyway.
The tutorials do work. They are outdated yes, but should still get the job done. They've been up for year(s) and have had many people complete them successfully. Generally speaking, when something goes wrong with them, it's a mistake on the end users part, or possibly webhosting related.
As has been stated, SS is relatively new compared to a lot of the brand name CMSs out there. The forums aren't the busiest when compared to big names out there like Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress etc, but that is because the amount of users pales in comparison. This will get better over time. I came here one year ago this month, and I'll admit I was like you in being frustrated by the lack of support at first. It was a lot 'worse' back then as SS had only been open sourced recently. This is one of the reasons I participate as much as I do in this community. I wanted to see SS take off and knew it needed a growing community of support to help it with that. I'm a UI/Design person first, so I'm not an expert at all, but I always try to help out as much as I can.
Sure enough the community is getting larger and more 3rd party support/modules are coming in. You need to understand how the open source movement works, and that is by slowly building a community over time. SS is still very young. I have no doubts that as the years go by, SS will get up there in popularity and be used in the same sentence as all the other default, popular CMSs out there. Everybody I have showed SS to so far has loved it and used it in projects that make sense to. It's just about getting the word out right now.
The only problem I have with your honesty, is your statement about them running it into the ground. That couldn't be any more ignorant if you tried. The SS team is the ones responsible for the product and getting it to where it is today. It's not going anywhere but up. Everybody should feel lucky to have a group of people basically paid to work on an open source solution that we all get to use. The SS team might not be the busiest in the support forum, but they pretty much work on it everyday from a development standpoint.