I hope no-one minds me plugging my first foray into the original edition simulacrum field. I've just finished the BLUEHOLME Prentice Rules, a 1st through 3rd level simulacrum of the Holmes Basic rules. The PDF is available (for free) from DTRPG and RPGNow. Please check it out and let me have your feedback.
Writing it wasn't so hard - unravelling some of Holmes's musings (TSR-edited) was the tricky bit. While Holmes is a unique bit of D&D in-between-editions, it was never that easy to follow for beginners - although probably immeasurably more so than the 3 little brown books and the Greyhawk supplement on which it was based. The confusing AD&D references shoehorned in later made it even more confusing.
This project actually started out as a compilation of Holmes errata, but it got totally out of hand. Eventually I thought, hey, why not go all the way and retro-clone this thing so everything is in the right order, in the right place. I hope I've succeeded.
The blue book was essential to understanding AD&D. Until a few years ago I thought the blue book was an introduction to AD&D and not a different version of D&D. Fortunately for me I read the blue book first and the AD&D stuff made sense. The DMs guide in particular was pretty much incomprehensible on its own. As for the brown books I can't see how anyone could play D&D after reading them unless you had been shown how to play by someone else who knew what to do. I've downloaded Blueholme and its on my list of things to read.