It turns out that nanoCAD 2 got installed on my computer, after all. It appears that some of the unintelligible (to me) dialog boxes may have had to do with additional options unrelated to the installation process. I found nanoCAD in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Nanosoft\nanoCAD 2.5 folder and then double-clicked on nCAD.exe to get it running.
Once launched, there were some more Russian dialog boxes. I kept clicking various buttons in them, and relauchned nanoCAD after it closed itself (hit a wrong button, I guess!), and finally was able to try it out.
It has a hansome looking interface that is quite similar to that of AutoCAD. I like that it has tabs for easily accessing open drawings. The "paper" is layout mode has a pleasant yellow color. Thank goodness for icons, because nanoCAD does not understand any commands I enter in English. It does, however, understand AutoCAD's aliases, so I could zoom a windowed area with z w.
I did not do any formal timing tests, but nanoCAD 2 felt fast; any drawing I opened seemed to open nearly instantly, faster even than AutoCAD 2011, such as with the 2MB "3d house.dwg" sample file from AutoCAD 2004. It could be that AutoCAD is loading more stuff, like lighting and materials perhaps?
Anyhow, it seems to me that nanoCAD looks promising and I look forward to trying out an English version. www.nanocad.ru