"Wouldn't the time be better spent getting Linux to adopt certain RiscOS methods..."
How would you suggest I go about that?
I don't think just saying that people should try a different approach will have any effect, they have to be shown it and then maybe they'll decide that it is worthwhile. The KDE developers weren't even convinced that right click on scroll bar buttons should work in the reverse direction to left click!
What I'm doing is showing another way of using Linux to whoever is interested. If people like it, maybe they will adopt it, but it's more likely I'll just end up with a unique desktop system.
The hidden files in the home directory are the standard Unix approach to storing choices (and they are hidden, after all). You can make the same argument about non-enthusiast users shift-opening application directories.