Thanks for your feedback. For those who would like to see this feature sooner, please vote for it.
We plan to add the auto-start to the regular Compute blade at some point. However, if you create the VMs in a Lab, the auto-start is already available.
Also, we do de-allocate.
Thanks for the input!
ACI currently has no plans to provide access to host-level interaction. We are always open to feedback, but this is the current plan.