Jason, my understanding of why it's easier to light Tinny's BlackFly 2 et. al. is not exactly because of increased surface area but just that the amount of alcohol that your lighter needs to heat up to vaporization held in the capillary of that tiny loop of wick is a LOT less than if you were going to lower the flame to be in contact with the main body of the stove, or the main body of fluid.
That is, the process of using capillarity to draw alcohol up to the flame zone (which I tried to describe in my initial posts at the top of this page) is, I'm pretty sure, NOT what happens in Zelph's Starlyte, but it IS what happens in Tinny's BlackFly. The flame can't radiate heat onto the main fuel reservoir because the reservoir is shielded by the top of the stove, and back-conduction of heat into the fuel reservoir is, I think, mitigated by A) the water jacket keeping the stove body cool, and B) the only other potential link between the reservoir and the flame being a very small diameter non-conductive wick.
So, if I've sized this up right, a wick stove like the BlackFly is easy to light because you only have to ignite the smidge of alcohol that's held in that top half-inch of wick, AND the chance for heat to be drained away by other parts of the stove have been mitigated as described above.
In the Starlyte stove, I'm now pretty sure, for the stove to really prime up it needs to "back-radiate" and "back-conduct" for a little bit in order to bring most or all of the alcohol inside to vaporization, just like most alky stoves. And just like most stoves, these kinds are somewhat difficult to blow out once they've primed.