Here is an awesome tutorial from Aaron Nieze at the Shmoggo Blog. In this short tutorial, Aaron covers an array of inkscape Basics while creating a vector based company logo.
Here is a quick how-to outlining the process to create custom inkscape SVG filters to style text. The tutorial covers the procedure to create a filter for text with a shadow, slightly inset text and raised, super glossy text. The tutorial also has a downloadable SVG so you can open up the image in Inkscape and play with the filters yourself.