Just hitting the obvious points that have been discussed before: 

> documentation is far from ideal. Newbies (like me) do not compare the
> present state of affairs with how it used to be but compare it with the
> availability and quality of documentation with Perl or Python. And both
> languages are far superior in this respect.

It is good to realize ruby docs are not on the same level as perl or
python, but that
shouldn't surprise anyone.  Those other communities are larger, and
have been more active (at least in English based usage and discussion)
for more years.  They also carry the other respective boons and banes
of a larger community.

On the other hand, it's also good to realize the comparison is
partially flawed.  In a Karate class, you don't say a 14 yr old has
better technique than an 8 yr old just cause the former can kick the
stuffing out of the latter.

To address Iwan directly, not all documentation is 'ideal'  but I
would definately classify most as usable.  And the fact that this has
changed dramatically in the past couple of years means the ball is
rolling and it is going to get better.  (sidenote: sincere thanks to
those that have made this reality.  I might just be a lurker and minor
user, but man - it is *so* appreciated)

Adam, like others have mentioned - the basics are pretty well
explained.  You might hit a snag with a library or module here or
there, but the general concensus is that if you post a "wtf is ...?"
to the mailing list, you'll get a decent reply rather than an RTFM. 
So it's really a question of what you want.

FWIW, I thought ruby was worth learning back in 2001 when the docs
weren't to the current level and I don't read /speak a lick of
Japanese.

Oh, and Iwan: documentation is taken VERY seriously here, no worries. ;)

Cameron