The creation of $HOME/.m2/archiva is a result of reliance on the maven core components, and should be filed as a separate bug.
This wasn't filed as critical, just major.
If someone decides to enter the appearance screens, as they are now, that whole process fails.
Once the appearance screens have been activated, then the logs fill up ridiculously fast with the exceptions, all tracked down to the appearance / logo logic attempting to resolve content, on every access to every screen in the application.
This is a severe problem.
We must address it.
Maybe not for the next pre-1.0 release, but definitely before 1.0 final.