The yeoman generator does create a working example for me. I was also looking into the demo-shell in alfresco-ng2-components and before posting this question it was the demo shell I was having trouble with.
In the yeoman generated app, changing the log level in proxy.conf.json to debug was enough for me to figure out my immediate problem.
I would like to know how to log network traffic of the proxy with the angular-cli based app, but I am going to continue with the yeoman generator.
You can also check the "serve" command docs from the Angular CLI: serve · angular/angular-cli Wiki · GitHub You most probably need the "verbose mode". You can modify the "package.json" script (the "start" one) with extra switches. Hope that helps.