The folks at http://www.nventive.net/ have created a project called Umbrella that is a series of helpers over the .NET BCL that aims to "reduce friction and increase predictability of the API." They plan to launch additional accelerators over Unity, the Entity Framework, WCF and the Enterprise Library. It is exceedingly broad and includes literally hundreds of new methods and helpers. However, I don't think you're expected to "learn" Umbrella as they hope you'll stumble into it...in a good way. It's like the concept of The Pit of Success. There's little easier than just falling, and the idea is that if you've designed an API correctly folks will just fall into success.