Thanks guys, very inspiring posts!
oldvan - i will indeed inscribe "thanks sonsivri" if i ever get to that poinbt
sphinx - i know what you mean, i've got quite a few books lined up on my shelf now about electronics, and have read plenty of articles etc online. I will indeed start with small steps, im thinking of building a very simple robot, just some continous servos to power it, and an ultrasonic sensor, start from there and try and write the code all by myself (well without too much copying and pasting of other peoples work!) and try and go from there. Does that sound like a good idea? or perhaps too advanced?