I agree mostly with your post, most people need to learn one major thing at a time, but to quibble: A poor carpenter blames his tools. What exactly is proprietary about redhat (all source code is available), and what's so hard about using something (free) like Ximian RedCarpet, which is essentially apt-get for RPMs, with both GUI and CLI interfaces?
I agree that the redhat network system sucks. RedCarpet doesn't. I use debian and redhat daily, and they both work fine for me when you used correctly.
-Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from doubletalk.