I've just finished my first Ruby on Rails web application, and these baby rocks! It's true that you can develop 10 times faster, and it's so simple that you can do it from day one. What follows is a summary of my RoR investigation, from curiosity to my first working RoR web application.
I decided to study more deeply about Ruby on Rails some time ago, and now I had the chance. First, a visit to the official website, a jump to the screencasts section, and watched the screencasts. Seeing is believing, so you have to watch how to make a blog with RoR in 15 minutes (with installation), and how to make a filter for Flickr in 5 minutes (with CSS).
Next, some documentation, which I recommend reading it in the following order:
After these, I was really excited, to I just had to try it for myself. I have a Mac, and I was not willing to compile anything, so I started looking for a no frills package. Found one, Locomotive. Ok, free download, one application, double click and its on. Locomotive is integrated with TextMate, so I decided to extend a little further my investigation and also try it. A trial download, one application, double click, no frills. By the way, TextMate looks promising (more in some days).
Opened a terminal window (tip: open it from Locomotive, it will take care of all the environment variables for you), create a dummy database with sqlite (comes with Locomotive), did some script/generate scaffold xpto, edited some files, and voila, my first web application in RoR.
It's really easy to program in RoR, and still maintain a lot of power. It's a very well organized framework, clean and helpful. And if you are sick of doing always the same things, do yourself a favor and take a couple of hours to try it.