One of the things I dislike most about some web frameworks is how they try to hide the machinery from your prying eyes. In some cases, this can be downright necessary-- the mind that invented Django's ORM is clearly a twisted evil genius from Mars who knows more about metaprogramming than I do, although I have learned a lot from reading his code. But the ORM isn't hidden, it's right there in the /db folder.
But if you want to really understand what a design doc looks like, the perfect tool is Couch-Docs, a tool (written in Ruby, alas) that can dump your design docs, and then re-upload them, all in one nice, compete package. It makes laying out a couchdb application an utter breeze. Handholding is sometimes indistinguishable restraint, and that's how I feel about Kanso and CouchApps in general. Couch-Docs is CouchApp development for grownups.