Just for giggles I let my friend try Elite and had him read FD's guide to Powerplay. Now he's a well read person, Masters in Mathematics and Bachelors in Language Arts.
His exact words were, "And they expect brand new players to understand this? Even I had to go back and re-read some parts of this and I STILL don't get it."
I honestly think that the system and explanation, in-game and the guides, are too difficulty/lengthy for someone new to Elite. This is why you have so many people unbalancing Powerplay by farming the CZ's for creds, because they can't understand anything else.