What a pissy post! Of course RDS is a bit opaque, and doesn’t favor MySQL-style configuration. It’s an abstraction over six different databases! If you’re the type to complain about this, and being unable to monitor OS-level metrics like disk I/O and process status, maybe don’t use a managed database.
Is there any upside? Why do people use it? Push-button replication. Check. Push-button multi-az, check. Those are great if you have no DBA. Automated backups so you don’t shoot yourself in the foot, check.
I have no DBA. RDS is pretty awesome. It doesn’t solve all my problems but, having used all of the multi-AZ failover, read replication, and backup/restore features over the last year, I am getting my money’s worth.