In the long run SW and Rhino are on the same side of the coin when it comes to 3D modeling in terms of the base approach. Sketch, Surface, Extrude....take away some material add what's needed. As you've noted the tree is your best enemy and worse friend at the same time. Build things right and SW sings like a Canary....it's learning when things to bad how to fix them that then makes it that much easier not to run into them. IMO people say Rhino is easier because it will let "you" put something on the screen that's not possible in the real world, SW on the other hand generally won't allow that. This is both good and bad but that's for a whole other discussion.
One thing I highly recommend is download files from GrabCAD that are SW files and roll the history back of the file to see HOW it was built. I mean this is giving you the keys to the BMW....all of the ingredients to your favorite meal for free. It is not meant to be a defacto modeling approach as much as it is showing the way that the different features can be used to build a model. Even if it's not in your field of design download it anyway, see what's under the hood.
Last link to check is from Ed Eaton at the Dimonte Group who's presentation about SW and ID is bar none the best... http://dimontegroup.com/news-resources
. Also if you can at all track down Matt Lombard's "Surfacing Bible" (it's out of Print)... is as insightful today as ever. You get that there's nothing that you'll feel can't be done in SW when compared to Rhino. And don't get me wrong...I'm a huge Rhino fan, use it a lot, but right tool for the right job....