You can clone with
HTTPS or Subversion.
I hit some issues during install before realizing that the 'default branch' was v2, which seems to closer to bleeding edge than I (and most other users of the starter-kit) would want.
Would it make sense to put the default branch back to master until v2 / emacs 24 is more stable?
Emacs 24 is extremely stable; in my experience it crashes less than 23. It's a little more difficult to install though. I'd rather not switch the default branch, but if you have suggestions for how to make it clearer in the readme that Emacs 23 users should use the master branch I'd definitely take them.