I decided to give BSD another try after a hiatus of a few years, and what was posted here about MidnightBSD was encouraging. I noted that the installation was quite similar to FreeBSD's.
I downloaded xorg and Gnome as packages. Either one or the other, I forget which, had a lot of unresolved dependencies and didn't work. So I downloaded an .iso from FreeBSD's Website, and, using the same instructions, installed it, and it is working properly.
MidnightBSD apparently isn't much easier to install than FreeBSD, but I thought I might experiment with it out of curiosity. But I'm wondering why the installation of the GUI failed at such an early stage?
It's possible to install a GUI, but you're right it isn't as easy as it should be. I've got a video up on youtube on how to install the GUI.
There are some bugs in the package manager that are causing some depenencies to not get picked up with deep hierarchies. We've got tickets open for them. We can also do some workarounds in the ports tree to make it less likely.