With high hopes for a reasonable and productive discussion, I reply to your post.
My suggestion is that Linux Mint could be made available for AVERAGE computer users, not just for those whose vocations or avocations are in the computer field. I believe that the class of average computer users consists of about 99% of all users. For purposes of illustration, please consider your responses to my original post.
To my first consideration, you reply: "Isn't this what the FSF and OSI are for? (And by extension EFF and EDRI.)" --- You write in the shorthand method used by expert computer users. In fact, I only know what FSF is because I've had correspondence with it, but have no clue (without looking them up) what OSI, EFF, and EDRI are. My guess is that only 5% of computer users would understand your response (which, coincidentally, is the same as the percentage of those who use GNU/Linux operating systems). In answer to the question itself, the answer is, of course, YES. But the point is that few understand that answer.
To my second, you reply: "How is this interesting to the average computer user? This would be better targeted at businesses. All the average computer needs know about the economic benefits is the L in FLOSS. And again, especially OSI is doing this." --- Again, I (and probably 95% of the rest of computer users) don't know what FLOSS is, or what OSI is. But the point is that it could be made clear (or, better, CLEARER) to the 95% that, instead of paying successively every few years to go from 95 to ME to 98 to 2000 to XP to Vista to 7 to 8, they could get free operating systems and free upgrades.
To my third, you ask: Does the chapter on downloading and installing Linux Mint 11 in the User Guide not suffice? --- The answer is a resounding NO! It is unclear. It fails, as do so many of the instructions on computer stuff, because (1) it does not explain sufficiently to those who don't understand the process, yet (2) does explain it so those who do understand the process can understand it, but who don't need it BECAUSE THEY ALREADY KNOW HOW TO DO IT.
I ask the question, why do 95% of computer users continue to pay a lot of money for operating systems when they could have better, more efficient, better looking, less infected and corrupted systems at no cost? I think the answer is because there is no clear set of instructions (that they can understand) showing how to make the change.
I think Mint is an excellent distribution, and would consider choosing it as the centerpiece of an effort to mainstream the use of Linux. The reason I write is to get some feedback, and to see if members of the Mint community would answer questions I have (which questions are no doubt the same as others would have) about the system, in order to write instructions that would make Mint attractive to and usable by mainstream computer users.