It was not easy but I got the kit running. Ran into two issues. Firstly, getting the PICKIT3 to power the board. Had to enable power in the project's properties. Secondly, getting the kit to read the device ID. During the first initialization of the device MPLAB warned me about programming voltage. I assumed the 16LF1937 needed low voltage programming but as it turns out, it does not. After those two issues were cleared, it ran great. Now time to dive in deep.
Not only do they have an amazing selection of RISC processors but Microchip Technology, Inc. has stepped up their game in embedded microcontroller development. MPLAB X is a robust development environment that runs on Mac, Windows and Linux. And its free. Check them out: www.microchip.com/mplabx/ (new window).