Installation was a piece of cake (just be sure to set all of the environment variables, and download/configure the ~/build.properties file so it can find all dependencies for downloading). Once the source was downloaded, it really only took a minute to compile and deploy the application (although I spent much MUCH longer than that twiddling around with configuring the build).
Anyway, it built and deployed just fine on MacOSX Server 10.3.4. I fired up Tomcat, and pointed my browser to the embedded version of Sakai and got an exciting empty template page. Doh.
Now, to try to find some documentation on wtf Sakai "does", and what needs to be configured to make it do that... ;-)