I can categorically state that – while not perfect – JQuery lives up to it’s tag line – “write less, do more”.
There is a wonderful tutorial over at WebMonkey entitled Get Started with JQuery that can help you get started.
What I’m reminded as I write this is that the real value of any application is the value it brings to the user. The real value is in solving important problems OR giving users a capability that did not exist – or could not be realized. While there is something to be said for the coding purist who wants complete control over every line of code used by his/her application… there is more to be said for re-using as much as possible in a well architected way, to quickly solve those customer problems.