So on a lark, I installed InstantRails last night to see what all the hubbub was about. I grabbed the latest (v2.0) and set to following some getting started steps from a book.
Unfortunately, it seems that things aren't quite as easy as just downloading and getting started. Just trying to start up a sample/demo site responded with a bunch of errors ... so I ended up having to do a bunch of updates to the environment. These are the commands I had to run to get to a point that I could run "rails demo"
gem update rails --include-depencies
gem install activerecord
gem install rake
gem install actionpack
gem install actionmailer
gem install activeresource
gem update --system
I mean, it was ultimately not too bad, but at the same time, not a great first impression. So far, lots of the same concepts that I've gotten used to in ASP.NET MVC seem like they found their roots in RoR ... so it's good to see them in their original context.