Is there a good primer on Mhonarc, or a post that contains the basics
for a newbie?
Well, there is http://www.mhonarc.org/MHonArc/doc/quickstart.html
What's useful to you depends on what kind of "newbie" you are, of
course. I started to use MHonArc on a web hosting account without shell
access, which resulted in this help script:
(also included in the MHonArc distribution in the /contrib folder)
You may or may not find that script useful.
But whichever route you take, you do need to make yourself comfortable
with the documentation in order to become a happy MHonArc user.