Yes, this! Great write up Gary. The issue resides deep within the imperative of making of sales (attractive images, advertising, pricing) to survive as a business and assisting the new users to discover what they do not know after the purchase was made. They are almost certainly mutually exclusive activities.
I made two previous mistakes. One was a so-called ‘upgraded 3018’, which was so poorly made it only worked for a few seconds before the control board died. I realised that the construction of parts (that easily could have come from several different factories) was part of the issue and it could never have been a satisfactory purchase.
My second mistake was to go for a turnkey solution in buying a Snapmaker. The bed was 5 inches square but CNC work was restricted to 3½" square. The 3D printer was not great, the laser was ok and the CNC use was impractical. The software was dire. That company also failed to explain obscure software and there were no practical tuition materials.
The users of all of these hobby grade machines are probably going to fall back on looking at YouTube videos and specific techniques. It is putting the cart before the horse really. One should learn first how to make the machine behave in predictable and known ways, because this way lies learning. Follow the instructions and look at the actual results and compare them with the expected results.
The reason manufacturers do not support this approach is that there is a high level of resources required to follow it up, especially with users who are struggling. As with any highly technical pursuit, the users may not even know that they are struggling.
It ought to be possible for those of us who are near enough to the delivery date of the SO3, that we can remember what we could have known and did not. Maybe that would provide the basis for a course of tuition. Graduating the activities so that important lessons are learned at the correct time is also likely to be helpful.
A Carbide 3D repository of perfectly made test pieces of advancing complexity, with downloadable files would also be of great utility value if used in conjunction with well designed lessons.
Until that is undertaken with any degree of commitment to assisting new users, understanding all of the factors required to get something, anything, out of their machines, will have people asking the same questions repeatedly. They must then rely on the technical expertise and the willingness of respondents to their postings requesting help. Not an ideal situation for a technical pursuit.