I guess that makes me even less than a "novice" user. I think only the first step involves an "out of the box" experience. FWIW, I have to use the unit "headless" and my desktop runs on Win 7, so I have to do the additional steps.
My only consolation is that I learned to use several of the commands required only because I had to mod a NAS (the torrent client didn't work very well), and maintaining that plus trying to replace the HD later (due to imminent failure) was not a pleasant experience for me. But minus having to mod it, I'd say that was an "out of the box" experience: the NAS and torrent client were ready to run and accessible via the Windows desktop.
My preference is a small torrent box with ready-to-run OS and torrent client which I can access remotely, and where I can just connect an external HD that I can read, format, etc., using Windows (so that I can backup, copy, or move the torrent incomplete folder, etc., if needed), and back up torrent data such as trackers, the tracker queue or list, and torrent client configurations. That way, if something goes wrong with the software, I can just restore configs and put back the trackers, etc., and if the HD needs to be replaced, I can do so easily.
I find NAS enclosures expensive, but at least I can replace the HDs if needed. I thought of new routers that now come with DD-WRT and torrent clients, but my router is still working fine.