I am totally with you @jlrdw and understand what you are saying. I would say the same thing to anyone else starting out, including never underestimating the power of pencil and paper to flesh out an idea. I do that all the time.
I've been down this path a number of times, and have projects written in different versions of Laravel over the years, even going back as far as FuelPHP, which I feel set down some of the structural groundwork that Laravel followed.
Each project is still running today, doing its thing in its own legacy ways. Each followed the lessons of the day, was built on the packages of the moment that seemed popular and did things in a way that felt natural and right. They were all good, and are now all stuck in their own little walled legacy gardens with the occasional updates and bug fixes.
The trouble is, the user stuff - logging in, registering, managing the users at the back end, roles, privileges, ACLs, password recovery - all that stuff is kind of a little footnote in my current project. I just want it done and out the way; "[x] Users". Ticked. Done. Now I can move on to the real guts of the application and flesh it out. That's where the real business end is.
I guess I am looking to hit the ground running a little faster than I would be with a big box of loose LEGO bricks, to mix my metaphors. And I am sure many other people are right there too, and have found the perfect solutions that provide enough out of the box to provide the framework that does things the right way - the Laravel way - and is ready, excited and eager to accept custom modifications so it can shine brighter than it could ever have dreamed.
Sorry, got carried away there. I've looked at Spark. That seems to very much revolve around implementing one particular business model (reseller apps). So I was hoping someone here had hit just the right magical combination of packages, libraries, glue and customisations.