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as the Microcontainer is not singleton by its design, what is the recommended way how to retrieve reference of Kernel (or KernelContext) running within JBossAS?
Have a look at what I'm doing with MC/AS + WebBeans integration:
In this case it's part of ServletContext's attributes.
If you have services, then you can simply inject it - see KernelConstants for the MC core bean names.
What functionality is AS adding on top of Microcontainer itself?
Mostly it's the work around ProfileService (PS) - bootstrap, actual runtime managed objects handling, hot deployment, ...
And the legacy jmx handling is being done as part of AS code - but this can be easily stripped out (see my MC article on DZone).
And of course there is plenty of custom AS deployers that are too specific to be part of MC,
but they build on the helper deployers we've introduced in the MC itself.
Is there any documentation related to it?
I know Scott has being working on the AS docs,
and since PS is mostly his work (and now Emanuel's) I'm sure he did touch on the subject.
And I think there are some wiki pages about the PS design, ...