Not to go into grumpy-old-man mode, but by 1995 the distributions were pretty damn easy to use. At least, for the types of people who would have been interested in using Linux.
My roommate and I, both comp-sci students, built our first box in early 1992. This was before the advent of "distros". Just getting the sources was hard... we started out trying to them off a local BBS using our trusty 14.4k. Eventually we gave up and used sneaker-net by burning floppies at our Uni's lab and carrying them home. It was around a mile away, which made it pretty annoying when a disk would end up being corrupt.
The actual install had to be bootstrapped from DOS, using a mish-mash of tools. And once you finally got the thing booted into "Linux", it was a sad little bare-bones system. More sneaker-net downloads ensued as we pieced together gcc, a decent set of libs, SLIP support, and eventually X-Windows. We had to fix several user-space bugs as we went (thank goodness we had all the code)... the most annoying one being in the utilities we were using to automated the slip handshake. Keep in mind that all of the instructions were buried in READMEs and a few FAQs we had printed off of Usenet.
And you know what... it was completely worth it. At the time, it was amazing to think that you could have your OWN PERSONAL UNIX WORKSTATION, with all the GNU tools. It saved us so much time because we were able to work on projects and assignments locally, without hiking to the lab or being constrained by an 80x24 terminal over a 14.4k modem. And the resulting code had a decent chance of compiling with no tweaks on the SunOS and HPUX boxes we used for class.
When SLS came out (the first distro I'd heard of), it was a godsend and we never looked back. By 1995, the distros were getting mature, though they still expected that you knew some of the underlying details.