Tell a newbie to 'read the documentation' and .. forget it ! You most likely have lost an Ubuntu convert. Back , decades ago, when I was in university it was more or less prerequisite to read the documentation that were included with any programs or proceedures. With todays fast paced social networking concepts, point and shoot and and overall development of easy GUIs most people do not want to take up the high-end task of studying the documentation. They want to push through to the end result .. and that is to just get their PCs working!!
A good case in point is trying to explain to an end_user the difference between 'updating' and 'upgrading'. I have told many clients countless time not to click on the UPGRADE button of their AVG security program.. but sure enough.. they do. To tell them to read the documentation just sends them reeling.
When I do an Ubuntu install of Lucid 10.04 for a client I also have to remind myself that I have to baby sit that install. Telling people to read man pages or the documentation will only make for soured relationships. There is no easy way around this. As a tech with most of my experience in instructional development I realize that I can only accomplish this by being a power of example.
One thing I would like to itemize and that is that during my time in school we used to have PC lab classes where 4 or 5 of us would break off into groups. This increased our abilities to retain what we were learning a lot easier as if we were to set out on our own - so - again , here is the community concept in action.
But a negative case in point is a most recent thread where many of us beta tested the most recent version of Ubuntu (Ocelot). The community environ worked well, friends were made and some bonding took place .. then , suddenly, the forum was closed and along with that closure some of the bonding was also muted. I can understand, probably for economic reasons, the sake of progress , etc. why those forums get closed, but with those closures goes with it a lot of illumination.
So, we can see then that as an example during beta testing, in the community environment, end_users and ITs alike were all working on a level playing field, a common ground so to speak. I admit that even myself was more intrigued to read some of the documentation and study some of the sudo codes. So we can see that when an incentive is involved ( ie; community rapport, bonding) then much more learning goes on.
Perhaps the same incentives could be applied to encouraging persons to have the same sort of enthusiasms when filing bug reports - and also stressing the importance of this. it has to be explained to people that they are not some sort of slave working on a Turing Machine. There has to be an incentive. If not monetary incentive then a community incentive of sorts may suffice.