KDE itself has a beautiful netbook interface. Please check that out.
(I do not remember exactly how to switch, but it is there in Customize Your Desktop.
Yes I know, that's why I suggested it as a possibility
I showed my wife how she could switch interface styles with just a couple of clicks on her new installation.
I think that the stumbling block to trying any new OS is the perception in the mind of the newb.
If you give someone aniPhone, they'll use it, give them an Android tablet, they'll use it, give them a Mac, they'll use it.
I've found out that "give them PCLOS, they'll use it" also works and sidesteps the great efforts of the agmg project, (only initially as they get used to the idea, then the interested ones will come looking for the documentation).
IOW, if you have a page with a picture of a desktop with Firefox, Chrome and recognisable "office" app shortcuts, they'll be far more likely to download and try it than if they're not familiar with the pictures they're seeing.
A shortcut with a gmail app could be another draw.
This isn't the same as giving someone an actual machine to play with, as it requires a leap of faith to download, burn and boot an unfamiliar OS.
I'll revamp my original suggestion, how about including familiar application links prominently on the full monty desktop, along with the network wizard.
Once a newb has got started surfing, emailing and facebooking they'll probably be feeling comfortable and happy to explore further.