The first experience for new users to the English Wikipedia
The new user's page should already come with a private sandbox page and a button to create a new sandbox page. It took me forever to figure out that you have to edit the URL string in your browser to make a sandbox page - lots of people don't know how to parse a browser string at all; they find things by clicking links or search.
And yes, new article deletion should be hard. We can be the encyclopedia of everything. If something is an orphan, then maybe there's a whole area of knowledge we need to fill in. - PKM 18:33, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
That's why I'd prefer a simple Template:Help Me rather than having assigned mentors. That allows a lot more editors to go through the list and help out on the things they know about, while skipping what they don't know about. (It also avoids a newbie being indoctrinated by someone who may not always be right but has Very Strong Opinions.)