Raytracing is unrelated to what we need for 3D acceleration. It's an interesting thing on its own, but unrelated.
Getting hardware acceleration working is a matter of implementing lots of low-level things in the driver (sending commands to the hardware using hardware ring buffers, DMA, ...), and then making this accessible from userland, either through our existing accelerant interface or through something more DRI/DRM-like. And then finally, have Mesa use this new interface to let the hardware do 3D. It is indeed a lot of work, but it does not involve anything 3D-ish (polygons, meshes, vector math, etc). It's just hardware driver development, and for quite complex hardware. Still, having an up to date Mesa is one of the many needed steps on the long way to accelerated 3D.
You are right anyway, enough discussion, back to code everyone!