So, I've been drooling after the Lego Mindstorms NXT and the Arduino for ages, but I never bought into them since the NXT is so crazy expensive locally, and I couldn't find Arduino anywhere, and I don't want to risk having to pay through my nose for import tax, without having a little hands-on first.
Unfortuntaely, this kind of backwards thinking is not very good for me and I never got my robots, until I came across Vol. 27 of Otona no Kagaku (literally, Science for Adults) at the local Kinokuniya bookstore by pure chance. Vol. 27 includes a Japanino (an Arduino clone), an LED bar, and Japanese instructions for building a POV (persistence of vision) device. I can't read Japanese very well, but the Otona no Kagaku website has English instructions for download.
Since I'm relatively late to the Arduino game, there are literally millions of Arduino resources on the web at my disposal. I'm a hardware (PC) person, but I've never really been an electronics guy, I hope this will get me started.
Update (2011-02-18): I kept having trouble uploading sketches to the Japanino on my MacBook. It appears to be due to hardware design according to this page at Switch Science, and this page seems to describe USB overcurrent problems and how to fix it, but I'm just guessing since I can't really read Japanese.