"Speaking of poles, two things. Darn you weren't kidding, the short pole is super stiff. Second, because it is so stiff, I placed in underneath the main long one that arches. You said you placed it above though. Weren't you worried about having to bend the little guy upward to hard."
When I put it under, I found it was bent/arched upwards and hitting the underside of the main pole. By having it above, it is free to arch up. However, I only tried putting it under once (and the directions on MSRs site say to go under) so perhaps I need to try this again. You may be right that it's better to go under.
Regarding tie out loop in photo #1, I haven't actually used this, but I imagine it would make the tent more sturdy in a heavy wind or under heavy snow load. I was wondering this too and that's the best answer I could think of.
Regarding the loop in picture #3, I believe this is for improving ventilation. If you tie/stake this out, you get more airflow coming under the fly. It actually seems to work pretty good. I used the included rope to stake this out on my most recent trip.
Regarding photo #5, it looks like both vestibules could be pulled out tighter, but especially the door side. This would make it easier to get in/out.
Regarding photo #6....ha ha...yes you are doing something wrong here. Don't stake out both sides of the door. Just stake out one, and then the other side will open up as the door. Choose which 'door' you want to be able to open and then stake the other one. When you unzip the door, you can then roll it up using the thing provided.
Here's a pic from MSR's site:
Photos #7 & #10 are showing another spots you can tie the tent down for windy/snowy conditions
"what other things am I suppose to guy down with the string that is provided."
I use the supplied string for the ventition guy out loops at the bottom ends of the tent, but it severe conditions I'd attach them higher up as support.
"I am new to tents that have points that you can guy out with string, so please excuse my stupidity on matters. On a side note, i dont even know how to use those guy clips either. The manual gives a diagram of how to work the string through them, but do you know of any sites that are more descriptive with how to play around with them so that they are set up correctly."
Just fiddle around with them....they grab the string pretty good almost regardless of how you route them. I don't really know the proper way either.
"what is up with the silky roof center? Do you think that it will absorb moisture and drip water above the top inside part of the tent? This question is probably a little overbaord, but I figured Id ask."
I'm not sure. This fabric won't be absorbing moisture/condensation normally because there is no temperature difference between the two sides like there is with the fly (cold outside, warm inside). My guess is that the condensation that does collection inside the fly can fall on this fabric and be absorbed rather than splashing on you, like it would when a drip hits mesh.