We would like to refer to Authenticated Users as Friends (distinguished from our financial members who have a separate role), but Authenticated User appears as "locked" in the roles panel.

Comments

IIRC anonymous and authenticated are hard coded which may explain why they are locked.

However, you could create a "friends" role and utilize https://drupal.org/project/autoassignrole so that users are automatically added to that role upon registration.
The above wouldn't work as it would add 'all' users to the new role including financial member.

Actual if you want to distinguish friends from our financial members, you probably will want both a friend and "financial member" role since everyone who logs in has the authenticated role. Without the two roles it authenticated will likely not be unique enough.

You are right - I was trying to avoid further complication of an already huge permissions matrix, but auth user is hard-coded so that if you give it a permission it greys out all the higher options.
One of the main things we want to do with "Friends" (but NOT with full members) is an ever-so-slightly naggy donate button.
We were planning to use Ubercart Roles, where it would be easy enough to unassign Friend while assigning Member, but I've just been pointed in the direction of CiviCRM and am liking what I see.

Read this post .

It may solve your problem using the string override module

https://drupal.org/node/18978#comment-712885

String Override module

Ashish Vitthal Dalvi