After spending a week trying to get this template to work after a build failure stopped progress in its tracks on the first day, I finally discovered that Bower 1.8+ is required. Hopefully that will be added to the documentation.
My primary issue, though, remains, and that is that the application has an enormous number of dependencies (over 700 node modules alone) and there is no documentation about how to strip away the features that aren't needed and their associated dependencies. The developer is working on such a list now and hopefully it will help the next person to come along who doesn't need the full complement of features.
I'm going to change my rating back to a 4, even though by the time I finally figured out what was wrong, I'd already abandoned the template and begun writing my site with Angular Material directly. It'll be a good reference application to study at least.