It's a frustratingly familiar structure for Stephenson. When I got to the inevitable (in the sense that I've come to expect it from the author rather than it was necessary to the narrative) attempted rape in his current novel I just sort of sighed and turned the page.
Still, I really like Diamond Age and the Primer is a fun (albeit technologically very distant) idea. But even with the Primer actually Nell is utterly reliant upon the protection of her brother, the judge and his assistants, and the citizens of a local Victorian enclave. Giving deprived children a networked computer is not step one.