from the Raspberry-Pi 101 post:
" Our first priority needs to be to the getting the Raspberry Pi into the hands of children who need them . . ."
My question: why o why is there not going to be an available SD card OS -- $10-15USD at the most -- with basic Linux (LXDE spin)? The R-Pi then becomes plug and play right off the bat. And, as you've already pointed out, all the help in the world is available for Linux. Put your marvelous invention into waiting hands ready for immediate use. Don't give anyone the opportunity to be unable to use it because they can't get the aftermarket stuff to work, can't wade through the installation swamp, and thus toss a wonderful piece of hardware onto the shelf for reasons that have nothing to do with the hardware!
Do this and put the start of the manual up on your site -- hell, I'll write it for the project--and then let the manual grow as users contribute instructions for what they are doing with the R-pi! I design web sites and releasing the R-pi in a naked state is like have the most wonderful, useful web site in the world WITHOUT a navigation panel.
I've worked in tech support for high end software, muddled about as a junior programmer in C and Visual Basic, mucked about with computers (Sinclair, Atari, DEC Rainbow, and on and on) since 1980. Ready-to-Run and accurate manuals or lack thereof can make or break a product. Please Please consider offering one solution out of the box. Users/teachers/developers can adventure off on their own as they wish, but those not wanting to will not have to.
Sorry for the sort-of-rant, but I'm really passionate about this.