Ahh, yes, “the very first time”!
I will affirm that the first time I did a circuit design, schematic capture, and board layout “from scratch” - with “PADS Power PCB” - I experienced plenty of frustration, re-work, and time with my nose buried in the manual. I suspect the same would have been true with either KiCAD, or Eagle.
In prior incarnations over the last 20 years or so I have had superficial acquaintance with several commercial EDA programs. In most cases it was just for a board or two; perhaps just to revise a previously designed board. As best I recall, moving between those programs took less effort than moving to KiCAD. Perhaps this is because I’m older and less agile now than I was then. Perhaps it’s because I developed too many expectations of how EDA software “should” be organized and how it’s “supposed to respond”. Somebody coming to KiCAD without those expectations may find it easier to learn.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Every EDA program I’ve used has it’s share of quirks and idiosyncracies. Or should I say, unique personalities and charming character? “Different” isn’t necessarily "better, or “worse”.
With KiCAD, I can turn out boards that are the technical equal of anything I did with any of the other programs - and it doesn’t cost $K’s per copy. The library system is a weakness, maybe a little worse than average, but then I’ve never really liked any of the other library systems I’ve encountered.
The open, natural-language file formats are an advantage! After you figure out the organization and syntax - which isn’t terribly difficult - you can often find ways to do things (using a text editor) that can’t be done in the program itself. Or, maybe you decide that doing it wasn’t all that important after all.
KiCAD’s libraries are NOT integrated into a corporate MRP or Configuration Control system like I experienced at several employers. It seems like the capability is present in KiCAD but it hasn’t been exploited. While I appreciate the power and usefulness of such systems when they are done well, I also know they can waste time and money when not done well. I hope the KiCAD development team will not get sidetracked into developing an MRP system until after KiCAD’s core program is a recognized, world-class schematic and layout tool. (And, until they genuinely have the resources to take on development of an MRP program.) This topic surfaces on this Forum every month or two.