FPGA development for a newbie?

I envision CIRCT as having a library of commonly used functionalities and the stream dialect sounds like a very common use case. My little SiDi board lacks capacity to go too fancy but with my mostly software background (BS in Computer Science) and little bit of hardware background (AAS in Electronic Engineering Technology) I have some learning to do.

Can someone here tell me how much CIRCT can speed up development of a custom core? My use case is trying to make an open core (possibly CERN OHL) to compete with the Apollo Core AC68080 (a continuation of the Motorola 680x0 series). Among its features are opcode fusion (combining combinations of 2 opcodes into one, such as 3 operand math functions fused from a register move followed by a math operation on the same destination register), opcode bonding (forwarding the contents of 2 operations having the same source so superscalarism isn’t hindered) and more.

Of course I realise the CIRCT software isn’t in full form yet but I want to improve my chances at success in the distant future, after I’ve upgraded from a small Cyclone 4 to a larger FPGA. Am I correct in my assumptions that CIRCT functions like a shorthand for common uses? I want something that’ll help me improve my skill more quickly and do more than Gunnar von Boehn has done in VHDL. I realize this won’t happen overnight.

I have other questions on a legal tangent regarding instruction cracking patents and the Linux related Open Source Initiative but I think you get the idea.