I have been a new player and every time I pick a game I'm a new player. Obviously I have played a lot, so getting familiar with the controls is not a issue for me, while for other is, but again, the game should make you better.
I think you haven't been reading me well, or I haven't wrote it properly, but I talk about a learning curve, that game needs to teach you and you start as a n00b and so on. And you tell me that not everyone are going to learn? Or not everyone has the same skills? Dude, I'm talking to make you better, obviously you start as someone who doesn't know how to play (DUH) and the game needs to teach you everything, but there is a way to teach you, one is telling you what to do, and the other is showing you what to do.
Again, Dark Souls is not a hard game, its sells as a one. I never got hooked to Halo campaign principally because I never understood what going on (no Theming, or motor that drives me to the story) and I felt that I never had the chance to think what I was doing (it was more like, shoot the first thing that appear), of course I like the multiplayer, and I think that is the only thing that game shines. But ok, you want a quick action game, you want fast food game, you want a mcdonald in video game, don't you? What is the point of a game that doesn't challenge to become better? If you are not going to get in the game to interact with the challenges and become better, then go and watch a movie, finally Uncharted and God of War are that, just movies that tells you "hit this button over and over again".
And there are ways to implement games with a nice curve of learning vs challenge. Megaman X did it great with the tutorial stage, and Spawn snes game did it wrong in the whole game. Obviously you need to introduce players to your game, and go step by step be making them betters, and that is my whole point, and why I hate difficult setting so much, is because A) it create this stupid division between casual gamer and hardcore, B) it create conflict in how the game should be played, C) lazy people are going to finish it in easy and then retail the game, D) You will not become better, yes, maybe better in easy difficulty, but you will not have explored all the ability the game require in its whole form (again, how the game should be played? if it should be played in easy, the skills I get there are enough and I will not need anything else).
Difficult settings is something to change, I hate a game to ask me in what difficulty I want to play, this is like going to a fancy restaurant and the chef ask me with how do I want me food, wtf? I want my food as how is supposed to be, and I want me games as are supposed to be.
A example of tutorials made wrong, is Sonic Generation, the game constantly tells you who are enemies, what enemies do, if you well from there what happens, and so on. Why would you spoil all that information to a player? we are not retarded, and if we lose was our mistake, so why the game is preventing us from making mistakes?
Games are to make us better, and difficulty setting is a backward step.