just to be really pedantic...so the reason for waiting to wash them for the first time, is ostensibly because they distress differently, right? does anyone know why, exactly? is it due to their rigidity (which lessens after they are washed) or is there some treatment in the fabric (e.g. sizing, etc) that aids distressing, which you want to avoid washing out?
You're right in your assumptions - wearing raw denim jeans without washing them gives you crisper distressing areas due to their rigidity (sharper whisker marks) and unstable color (higher contrast). Pristine denim jeans are very unstable because the indigo is just basically sitting there on the surface of the jeans in the warp threads. This is why it rubs off through hard wear. There isn't a treatment in the fabric - they are made in the same fashion that Levis were originally made. They come straight from the loom to the sewing machine to the shelf. Washing jeans often will make a nice, soft-fade effect, but if you want the distressed, high contrast with strong whiskers effect, wearing them without washing can help you get there. Washing in a sense neutralizes the indigo's ability to rub off the surface - nothing wrong with it, just not what's really trendy at the moment.