"I love computers, but just don't know where to begin (apart from the helproom!!!)"
As someone who does not work with PC's as a profession(although my job does involve computer controlled equipment in some cases). Any knowledge i have has been gleaned from "messing about with my home PC or, as you say, from reading this forum.
I think the best way to improve one's self is to pick a task say... down load a video file and then record it to DVD. If you are successful remember the process and when the question pops up you can share your experience.
AS for some of these Guys, i don't think us mere mortals will ever catch up with they're encyclopedic knowledge... ;-)