Best approach for blog network with identical configurations different domains


I would like to set up 250 blogs from a WPMU install so that each blog is located at a unique domain (e.g.,
Other than their title and location (on the separate domains), I would like all the blogs to be identical with the same plug-ins (including plug-in configurations if possible), the same theme (and again identical configurations to the theme if
there are any configuration), and the same username and password for the main admin user. I would be the only one at least initially writing to the blogs. I don't need the created sites to be able to create other child sites (just need the 250 standalone blogs)

Not sure if this is the correct term but I would like to have one main template blog and then "clone" the other 249 blogs if possible in some automated way to save having to do the settings manually so many times.

I was hoping I could get some guidance on which approach you think would work best in this situation. I had a few ideas about different approaches but wondered if someone had been in the same scenario and found a good way to do it.

I have spent many days of looking through this forum, the others and general google search but still not much clearer on the best approach.

A few possible options.

1) Install WPMU with subdomain approach, set up the main blog, install the Default theme plugin and the New Blog Defaults plugins to get the template of
what the other sites should look like, install the rest of the desired plugins, then install the Batch Create plugin to create subdomains for the other 249 blogs, then finally set up Donncha's MU Domain Mapping to link the subdomains with the domain names (e.g., site2.comm I realize I would have to set these up one by one). If this worked, to make the posts would I log on to the individual sites, to the subdomains on the main site, or to
the main site? What I like about this approach is that all the plugins are from the premium forum and trust that they work and are supported (except for MU Domain Mapping but that one I guess must be solid coming from Donncha)

2) Use Multi-Site Manager
From what I can understand it might do the same thing as approach #1 even though I don't need child blog on the domains? I found some references to
this in the forum but couldn't find much details. I read the threads in the forums (e.g.
but this didn't address my questions about "cloning" the set up of all blogs. I'm leaning away from this approach.

3) Use Yet Another Multi-Site Manager tool
( I just contacted the plugin author to find out more to see how this is different than Multi-Site Manager but wondered if anyone had experience using this.

4) Use WP-Hive ( Only problem with this one is there is no batch create so sites would have to be set up one at a time, also isn't
way to clone the settings.

5) Other options? Maybe there is some kind of cloning plugin that already does this or maybe it's in the works?

Sorry for the lengthy post. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to offer.