I am familiar with Renderman, a little bit, but I disagree with your suggestion here. Any piece of software that stands on its own, like LuxRender, should be approachable by the average user without the need to learn another program. There are exceptions but, for example, you don't need to learn Maya in order to learn Blender. The concepts necessary for 3D modeling are common but it is necessary to have comprehensive documentation that the user can approach without making her go back and forth between LuxRender and other packages.
Brilliant developers like you went through a learning process that includes many, many different softwares and concepts, and it's natural that you desire that everyone would learn the same, but, to make LuxRender popular, we need documentation that is complete, even to the point of re-introducing concepts that are not unique to LuxRender. I firmly believe that software is only as good as its own documentation. When I was working on projects like dBase and JBuilder we had a maniacal attention to documentation, including having the developer work side-by-side with the tech writer. You can imagine how much we like that
but Borland was famous for the quality of its own docs. And at the time we were actually printing them!
At the end having good documentation is as critical as having a given feature. If you don't document it, and document it well, it's almost like it's not there.
So, please excuse the continuous questions of this writer but I want to make the LuxRender docs a shiny example of how things have to be done and I want to have LuxRender one hell of a popular render and see an exporter for every single 3D modeler available. You guys write the killer features and I will make sure that they are fully understood by everyone.