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It appears the coffee cup model uses the old gazebo (pre 1.0) model format and it appears the parser used in fuerte isn't able to understand the syntax of that anymore. The error messages by gazebo on spawning the model at least suggest the mesh definition cannot be read:

namespace error : Namespace prefix model on physical is not defined
<!-- The trimesh coffee cup --><model:physical name="coffee_cup"><body:trimesh n
                                                                ^
namespace error : Namespace prefix body on trimesh is not defined
h coffee cup --><model:physical name="coffee_cup"><body:trimesh name="cup1_body"
                                                                               ^
namespace error : Namespace prefix geom on trimesh is not defined
izz>0.01</izz><cx>0.0</cx><cy>0.1</cy><cz>0.0</cz><geom:trimesh name="cup1_geom"
                                                                               ^
namespace error : Namespace prefix model on physical is not defined
<!-- The trimesh coffee cup --><model:physical name="coffee_cup"><body:trimesh n
                                                                ^
namespace error : Namespace prefix body on trimesh is not defined
h coffee cup --><model:physical name="coffee_cup"><body:trimesh name="cup1_body"

A conversion to SDF would be needed to properly be able to spawn the model.

The differences are readily visible when comparing two simple models:

Coffee cup (not working in fuerte): Coffee cup

Coke can (working): Coke Can

There's quite a bit of non-working legacy launch files/models in the gazebo packages and outdated tutorials on ros.org and the described issues are an example of that. Any volunteers willing to improve the situation would be welcome I guess. For the moment, I added a disclaimer to the tutorial notifying readers that spawning the cup does not work in ROS versions more recent than electric.