I was into the whole raw food thing for about a year, my sister, for about 3 years. I have never felt better in my life. I lost about 45lbs in under six weeks and had so much energy. I was eating 100% raw(except for wine which the hard cores do not drink). Nothing could ever be heated over a certain temperature which I cannot recall now, but that was only when dehydrating.
I ate at Juliano's restaurant when it used to be in Sunset in San Francisco(really enjoyable). I would hardly call Juliano the leader more like an eccentric that has his face out there.
The major downside to this lifestyle is that it is extremely anti social. You cannot really go out to eat, and since you have to eat a lot more, constantly through out the day you have to carry food with you at all times. It was a true test of self and will power to eat that way for a year. I do not think that this lifestyle will ever catch on to the masses because it is not as easy as it sounds.