Thanks for your candid feedback.
wrt to having to reload the sketch on power-up. I suggest that you obtain a 8GB micro SD card and download the "expanded" boot image and load it on same SD card: https://software.intel.com/en-us/iot/downloads & https://software.intel.com/sites/landingpage/iotdk/board-boot-image.html
I had many many issues with the Gen1 board when i 1st purchased it. I was so excited to work with it, however i was continually disappointed by pretty much every aspect of it. I realized that i really had to put in allot more work into every bit of code i wrote for it to make sure it worked as intended. I also recommend you grab the SD card image. It will enable you to set up things like the networking without the Arduino sketch. it will also let you auto load the sketch on boot.
Do you have the Gen1 or Gen2 board? If you have the Gen2 board, I'm with you, send it back. I was really hoping Intel would pull their pants up and fix all the issues the Gen1 board had.,