With brand new players, I have always played the actual game, the actual game that the game is, with a full 10 kingdom cards. That way they get to play the actual game.
Just curious, do you play your hardest, then, too? Or something like my Basic Big Money strategy?
I'm my experience, here are the things that scare a person off of a game:
1) A feeling that the game is too complicated / that they would have to invest too much time to learn (why I've had trouble getting friends to adopt Twilight Struggle and Napoleon's Triumph)
2) A feeling that there is an insurmountable talent/money gap (e.g. if a grandmaster taught you how to play chess, or if you learned Magic with a rich kid who bought the ultra-rare best cards and bragged about their price)
3) A feeling that the game just takes too long (Napoleon's Triumph, Twilight Struggle, Agricola)
For those reasons, I've had better luck with my approach. In the first No Actions kingdom, they find that the game is simple and quick. They always ask how much it cost me to buy all the cards, but they can see that the game itself is democratic... we both can play with Platinum, even though I physically own the Platinums. (It's not like that in many games, consider Magic cards and golf clubs.)
I suppose it also matters who's playing. If your friends are boardgamegeek regulars, that's different from trying to teach a pair of 5-year-olds or old men whose idea of a card game is Pinnochle.
Also in effect, Donald, your name is on the box. People are more generous with their time when playing my original games, just because they personally know me. They feel like they're helping me, giving me suggestions, rooting for it to become a hit, etc.
When I've used your method with Dominion, most people aren't interested in playing a 2nd game. That's why I bothered to come up with my method. And, empirically, it works. After a few months, I begged a couple players to try Dominion again, who preiously had a bad taste in their mouth from their original session. We used my method. Now they like it.