Most developers approach the problem from the wrong direction. They think: How can I make the power of Apache understandable to a regular human? If you try to do that you will confuse people and fail in your mission. Apache cannot be understood by a regular person. You have to love a special kind of torture to have the patience to learn how to configure Apache.
Instead, start from the other direction. Pretend you're a person who understands the web and how a computer fileystem works. Now go edit the httpd.conf file for Apache and make it so that it serves the content of a folder and nothing more, and does it without opening any security holes.
Redirects? Can you explain that to your user? Can you do it in a way that it doesn't add complexity for the user who doesn't care about them? I'd say redirects are a borderline feature, for a version 1.0 at least. But I'd try -- because redirects are really useful. (And filesystems have the idea of an alias or shortcut, so it's not crazy-ass foreign to normal people.)
Have I ever seen such a product? Yes, in fact I have. The Mac, in the mid-90s, had MacHTTP. And we had an FTP server that worked this way. How did we lose our way? Unimportant. Now let's get back on track!