This idea is hardly new. Personally, I can't help but think of Google Web Toolkit. For years GWT has let your write in Java and compile to JS. So why bother with CoffeeScript, ClojureScript, and probably some other awesomes that I'm leaving out? One obvious thing is that Java is an existing language and is statically typed. So it has its own baggage (which includes excellent tooling, but still) and of course many developers do not like statically typed languages. In fact, many argue that web development with a statically typed language is an impedance mismatch of the highest order. Personally I think GWT was also hurt by initially defaulting to producing highly obfuscated "production ready" JS. I always thought that was developer unfriendly. I think that may have changed over the years, but sometimes it's hard to overcome an initial impression. I think one of CoffeeScript's great strengths is that it produces very developer friendly JS by default. I've never built any huge apps in either language, but in my limited experience I found that debugging was easier in CoffeeScript. I could usually figure out what I had done wrong just by looking at the error message.
Any discussion like this would be amiss without mentioning Dart. It gives you dynamic and static aspects, in a way that reminds me of ActionScript. Personally I think optional typing works best when use variable:type style declarations, like ActionScript and Scala, but that's a minor nit. Of course when you consider that "native Dart" is supported in a version of the world's most popular browser, the possibilities start to get really interesting. I attended a Dart meetup recently where the Chrome developer tools allowed breakpoints and the like directly in the Dart script that was running. The SourceMap proposal would allow this kind of debugging of other higher level languages like CoffeeScript and ClojureScript.