It is pretty well known, though not likely by new/novice users, that Beersmith has a steep learning curve though a lot depends on how you want to use it.
Your original post asked if you were using the tool improperly or missing something. I think Oginme answered exactly what you sought and you kindly thanked him. That is the beauty of the forum and brilliant folks like oginme, who interpret your issue and apply it to their understanding of how the software works including nuances like this one
This issue is documented. Just not in a format that was helpful to you. As you watched the video, it didn't click that the max ABV in a recipe would be limited by the alcohol tolerance of the yeast you selected. Brad documented this exact question in the Beersmith 3 New features as well (http://beersmith.com/beersmith-3-features/ see Mead). Again, maybe you didn't read it, maybe it wasn't relative at the time and long forgotten.
As for snark, we do get a little defensive when we think folks are bashing the tool when it is not, in our opinion, the tool that is causing the issue but more of an issue how it is being used. In this case, it feels like you are bashing the documentation without a reference so, it seems you are just ranting about it versus being a bit more constructive and pointing out the discrepancy. At least that gives Brad a specific to track a defect against.
Hope your Mead turns out fantastic. I have about 70lbs honey waiting for me to cross the beer / mead chasm and make something interesting. Sadly, I am not a fan of honey flavor so getting the inertia to cross the chasm is difficult.
Thank you for your link -- I have viewed it many times. Everyone on this thread, with the exception of your comment, seems a shade snarky or defensive on the topic of improvement.
I have communicated with Mr. Smith on this topic and his responses to date have been non-committal. It is his product, his company and his budget. He understands where he wants to take the product and the audience it will serve.
Regarding software, development and refinement is not rocket science. If fact with modern tools, it is not even very hard. Like you, I have extensive experience, both as a developer and in a management capacity. So I believe I speak with the voice of experience.
Restating my prior post, my thesis is that all software starts out trying to solve a business/process problem. Initially it is tailored to the "expert". As the software becomes better, the documentation improves and more people start to use it who are not experts. Eventually the software will embody the business/process characteristics to assist the novice in usage and understanding the problem space.
What is difficult is determining the objectives of the software itself, the target audience and of course the budget and time frame as the product evolves. Those items interact and help explain how and why the various features are implemented.
My evaluation is that at this point BS3 has great capability but expects the user to be an "expert" or close to it. The transition for the future could be to change the product so it is more usable to the novice user and expand the market. Trust me when I say that there are more novice users than "expert" users in any market space.