I rekon, in the case of true neophytes (not converts from other apps), there is little in the way of expectations. That presents the opportunity to set expectations with gentle guidance. It is quite common for first-run to provide guidance with user opt-out. We regularly see this in downloaded applications as well as rollout of web-based upgrades. (e.g. "Take the tour of the new... ...or skip. ")
Conversely, developers bring an extensive range of expectations, and those can make what might be insignificant to the layman, infuriating to the developer. (Much like the squeak of car's suspension to an auto mechanic?)
As for reloading the preferences.xml, I rarely do this if working for myself, but I'll always do this before teaching an Inkscape class as well as reload the preferences on the machines in the classroom, so Instructor and student machines are in unison.