At Adafruit alone, in addition to our helpful support forums, we have dozens of tutorials. These include the outstanding Arduino Lesson series by Dr. Simon Monk. As well as product tutorials for almost all of our Arduino compatible products.
For Real Beginners:If you are new to both electronics and programming, you should consider one of our starter kits. These kits all include an Arduino Uno and a selection of accessories and electronic components to get you going.
The Adafruit Budget Starter Pack contains the processor, USB cable, a breadboard and some basic components.
The full Adafruit Starter Pack adds a power supply and a proto-shield kit so you can make your circuits permanent after you debug them on the breadboard.
The Arduino Starter Kit comes direct from the Arduino team and includes supplies to build some fun and interesting projects. The starter kit has been developed together with a series of ten video tutorials hosted by Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi. Read more about the kit on Arduino.cc
For Programmers:If you have some programming experience and want to get your feet wet with electronics, any of the Adafruit starter kits mentioned above will give you a good selection of parts to start with.
For the Electronics Tinkerer:So you know your electronics and want to try your had at programming? You probably have a good selection of common components already, so a bare Uno might be a good place to start. You may also want to pick up a power supply and a USB cable.
You are no doubt already handy with a soldering iron, so you may also want to consider building yourself an Arduino Compatible Menta. For this you will need an FTDI Cable instead of the standard USB cable.