Yes its -1 with brightness/automatic_brightness off. When you disable auto brightness its ok to be off (-1) ! but I not understand what is point of this? Where is problem? Darkness? Yes its darken but you can set fixed brightness with slider (when automatic brightness is off).
Theres problem with gapps! I use only tinny gaps and than using market I install everything for my needs and have no problems with force close...
About backlight I will try... did you tried to increase lights when autobrightness is off?...I think button light is off becouse brightness level is too low! In next build I will include "auto-fomat-tool" that will be used to format everything before clean installation and will atemp auto reboot to rom after installation, this will prevent wrong rom and gaps instalation...etc, so users will be warned to save all personal data before gone to install rom...
Ok, maybe gapps is ok... rom posted here http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...&postcount=184 is for test only and is dirty compiled so maybe reason is it. I deleted link to that rom! Need to know something, lets back to backlight. Do you tried to decrease lights when autolights is off? Do you have button lights on after it?