I'm enjoying the learning process involved with setting up Awesome. Its working for me, though I did encounter quite a few gotchas:
Here's what I setup: .xinitrc / .Xsession
nm-applet & exec awesome
Then I copied the default rc.lua:
cp /etc/xdg/awesome/rc.lua ~/.config/awesome/rc.lua
I messed around with rc.lua for awhile, but just couldn't figure out anything useful. Eventually I'll figure it out, but first I have to figure out the tags.
I'm glad the config file is written in Lua, as I've been trying to learn more of it lately.
UPDATE: I'm also using slim as my display manager now.