I actually think that a lot of new users would like to circumvent the DAM features of Lightroom because they feel they are more of an obstruction to their workflow than a help. They also often think that they have to surrender to the Lightroom directory structure instead of using the structure they have already been using for years and find natural. The need to import is the number one reason I see when someone ditches Lightroom after trying it for a short period.
So I think it would be a good idea with a guide showing to how to get easiest possible through the import steps and start working, without Lightroom moving or renaming any files or directories. Something which makes it possible to say:
"Yes, you have to import first in Lightroom, but if you do it according to this guide, you can keep the directory structure you are used to. The import will only be two additional mouse clicks and then you can start working and pretend that you never did an import."
Given time, those users will probably learn to love the DAM features like the rest of us. But there is no need to rush that.
I can relate this to my own experience. My own background before Lightroom was Raw Shooter Essentials, an old freeware raw converter. With this software, I should only double click on a raw file in Windows Explorer, and then the program would start up in something which more or less resembled the Develop module in Lightroom. The photo I had double clicked would be preselected, and all other photos in the same directory would be accessible in a film strip in the same way as in Lightroom (and I think that Auto Sync was enabled as default). So I could jump directly from Windows Explorer into adjusting all photos from a shooting, and then exporting them. Job done.
With Lightroom, I had to start Lightroom first. This is something I don't do with most software since I think it is usually easier to find the data files in Windows Explorer and then start the associated software from the data file (as I did with Raw Shooter Essentials).
Then in Lightroom I had to start an import and navigate through an unnecessarily clumsy file select dialog with bad memory of earlier import locations. At least that is how I remember it - I haven't used the file select dialog for a long time now.
Then I had to make sure that Lightroom would not move the files. I can't remember if Add was the default, but at least I was so suspicious about Lightroom taking control that I remember examining my options very carefully at that step.
And then I was finally able to do an import and start working.
Next frustration came after some days. I had imported different directories at different locations in a directory tree, and now they were visible in the Library as one long, flat list of directories without any hierarchic tree structure visible.
But after messing a bit with Lightroom, I discovered two things which made my life much easier:
1. Use "Show Parent Folder" a few times and be able to see the full directory tree of your photo collection in Library view.
I think anyone with their own folder structure would like to know about this feature very early.
2. You can actually initiate an import from Windows Explorer and skip the file select dialog in Lightroom Import.
If Lightroom has the correct key in the Windows Registry, you can just select the raw files in Windows Explorer and use Open With. (But quite often, this key is missing for some reason.)
Or you can add your own action to the right click menu of Windows Explorer so you can just right click on a directory and select Lightroom Import.
In both cases, Lightroom will start up, go into Import and already be in the correct directory.
After that, you basically only have to press Enter, and you are ready to work.