Recently I was working on a post for setting up the CakePHP Acl Component and was just walking through Mark Story's tutorial in the documentation to see what people were starting from. For basic ACLs it is pretty much the only way to go. Although many situations will require some tweeking. I realized the main thing lacking from all of the documentation I've read is a way to manage the stupid things. I've seen one or two in the past but if you could get them to work it was a miracle and even then they were not very friendly to use. So I began working on a plugin to manage ACOs and ACLs for the CakePHP AclComponent based on a set up that my friend Kenny Austin built at work. This plugin assumes that you were following the tutorial in the CakePHP documentation and even includes Mark Story's build_acl() function built into a component. I didn't include a way to manage AROs because those are created automatically for your users and groups. If you want help with managing those see my recent Auth Component tutorial. The code from it should work with a few minor changes to the models. Also keep in mind that this plugin (and the tutorial in the book) assumes that your users only belong to one group. If this plugin fits your need feel free to try it out.
To use just extract the contents to your plugins directory and access it by going to http://yoursite/acls. You may need to initially rebuild the ACOs but there is a button for that. Then grant yourself access to the plugin's ACOs and remove the $this->Auth->allow('*'); line from the beforeFilter of the 3 controllers. Please drop a comment with any feedback.