Re: Configuring Unity and average users
I wouldn't consider "changing the font size" to be something that many users will want or need to do. For those who want to, there's Gnome Tweak Tool or you can edit Dconf keys.
In the past, any superfluous customisation features were buried in Dconf or Gconf, but now these kinds of things are exposed in Gnome Tweak Tool. It just so happens that fonts had a GUI in Gnome 2, but most people used it only for changing the subpixel font rendering to look more like a Mac for use with their Macintosh themes.
One of the principles behind Gnome that has also made its way to Ubuntu is that you DON'T need a "comprehensive settings tool", that you just start with sensible defaults. Anything that's out of the ordinary for people to change can be done using Gconf, the terminal, or third-party tweaking tools. You actually make things a lot less confusing and a lot less breakable* for the ordinary user.
Gnome's smaller and sparser configuration panels actually make me feel like I have more control over my computer, instead of "Oh my god what on earth does this option mean and will it break things if I try it". KDE's a lot of fun to play with, but it's really got configuration overload. I'm not autistic or anything, either, but KDE's wealth of settings, or Windows XP's, makes me feel less comfortable than a simple settings dialog with a few essential settings.
*Less breakable means "Less like Compizconfig Settings Manager and its ability to hose your desktop if you choose the wrong options".
I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.