Probably the most intimidating things are those that matter least - the different options for assistance work. There is so much information on different options - BBB, Triumvirate, GVT, I Ain't Doing Jack Shit - that you can lose sight of the important stuff, the 5/3/1 component. Once I figured out the cycles and percentages, that seemed relatively simple, but there's a lot of other noise about the assistance work that clouds the issue for the first timer.
Figuring out my maxes was also a little intimidating - I didn't want to go to the gym and find out what my one rep max was and risk not gettting the bar off my chest. Once you learn about how to figure out TM, and that it's just a starting point, then that isn't such a big deal either.
I've been lifting for a long time but mostly just grab ass shit and making it up as I go, or reading some old timey books (Getting Stronger by Bill Pearl and some Arnold stuff), so the Powerlifting is all new to me and I wouldn't recognize the difference between the programs you mentioned.
I think there should be a 5/3/1 Guide for Dummies, an introductory type explanation for idiots like me. I just finished a few weeks of Mass Made Simple and started 5/3/1 today, am very enthusiastic about it, and didn't want the OP to be intimidated, or overwhelmed. Guess my enthusiasm got the best of me.
To someone with your experience, it clearly isn't the same as what he is doing. To someone with less experience, the similarities are striking. I guess I lack the sophistication to make a qualitative judgement. Glad you chimed in, I learned something.