Aye I noticed you live in MA as well. Nice to see a local on the boards! Some background on why I am getting into this. I started my first programming job about two years ago [C#] and now I want to learn more about C/C++. The best way for me to learn is to have fun with it so...
That's the best way, is to get some project and keep on expanding it.
My plan with this kit going forward is as follows:
1. Get it up and running so it can respond to "WASD" commands. I went with the xBee kit for the reasons stated above. I would like to talk to the robot over wireless and see if there is a way to send commands in real time.
2. I would like to see what I can do with the robot once I give it an IP address
3. Add some sensors
4. Add a raspberry pi to the kit and see where that takes me.
I just booted my R-pi on Saturday for the first time, though I had had it for 2-3 months. I only recently, I got an LCD that can do HDMI and needed to get USB power supplies that can supply at least 1 amp (most wall warts and computer USB ports only deliver 0.5 amps). At present, I don't know what I'm going to do with it.
Most of my thoughts right now revolve around my steampunk camera (Olympus E-5 DSLR mounted inside of a custom box made to look like a 1930's field camera with bellows, and adding various things you find in modern cell phones, such as a compass, watch, and sextent to replicate a GPS unit). My only real hack so far has been to hook up my telegraph key to fire the camera (when you press the shutter release key, it enables the auto focus, and when you release it, it fires the camera, because my E-5 is somewhat slow in auto focus when using live view). I would like to add a servo to zoom the lens in and out, and make the unit wireless. I also use the video out facility to a separate screen that ultimately I want to migrate to a wearable screen that mounts on my eyeglasses (unfortunately, the Arduino is somewhat limited in dealing with video, so this is straight composite video from the camera to screen). I also am waiting for delivery of a robot finger, that at some point, I want to use to fire the camera.