This a very interesting topic. I was recently asking myself the questions Kevin is being asking in this thread, and it occurs that I read a chapter about this matter yesterday, in the book "A taste of freedom" based on the talks by Ajahn Chah.
Here is a quote of the beginning of the chapter, called "The middle way within":
The teaching of Buddhism is about giving up evil and practising good. Then, when evil is given up and goodness is established, we must let go of both good and evil.
The rest of the chapter is all about how be able to do this. It is very interesting, and it is very easy to find the book on the internet if you have never read it.
I'm new to Buddhism too, but in my opinion, I think it is good (or rather, it is not bad) that Ikearns wants some to practice the rituals.
Maybe it will help him get in the right concentrated mind to reflect upon what he learnt, or then read and study the Dhamma. In practicing the rituals, maybe he will make his will to keep the 5 precepts stronger for example.
Yes, maybe he'll get attached to the rituals. But when he will go further in his Buddhist training, he will be able to let them go too! I agree with Kusala with the fact the path must be gradual.
We can't get rid of our clingings and attachements immediately, or we would all be arahants.
Such debates make me realize how hard it is to become an arahant.
How many Buddhists are attached to the Dhamma, the meditation, or attached to the idea you must not be attached?
Maybe Ikearns will be attached to the rituals, but maybe it will help him giving up other bad attachements such as ill-will, etc. I do not think it is unwholesome. It's a first step.