Just after the Pi was released, we installed our first model B in about 15 minutes. This was before Asb's configuration script was as good as it is now. The supporting hardware (SD card, power supply, etc.) was chosen after reading the wiki hardware section. There are many dodgy power supplies out there. For example, I bought a Raspberry Pi power supply from Amazon, which died after just a couple of hours of operation. This was embarrassing at the time, since it was being used for a Jam and had not been tested before. A 1Amp power supply with a CE mark (European version)
is a good way to go. A range of tested power supplies would help others. USB peripherals can be a bit of a mine field too. Documentation, testing and no poly fuses will probably improve this for others.
Our three year old son can plug his Pi together, power it up and start Childsplay or Tuxpaint without any help. Our other two sons (6 and 8) can easily start up scratch too. They have not been stopped or put off.
Scratch is good for stimulating imaginations, but can become limiting after a while. Python can be useful for many things, but is not as fast as a bit of well written C. Back in the early eighties, I did write BASIC programs on an Amstrad CPC464, but found the interface was limiting. There were no window managers for the Amstrad. BASIC using Acorn PCs was better, but still not the same as C. It can be really encouraging to get to grips with what is actually going on under the hood too. If the children of today can be taught to program in a variety of languages, then they are likely to be able to migrate to the languages of tomorrow.
Concerning the i2c error, it would be helpful to post the test program and error message in the appropriate forum section. Given the test program and error, someone else might have an idea of what to try.
Unlike the Atmel ATmega, the working model with the Pi would seem to be directly compiling and working on the Pi. Therefore, cross-compiling is not something which is typically expected.
Rather than a "them and us" discussion, would it be possible for those who are finding beginning difficult to work with Clive et al. to improve the beginner documentation etc.? In this manner, we can all seek to help others improve their computing skills.