Thanks for your time and looking at my post. I have been checking regularly to see if the Arduino Starter Kit would be in stock so I could order one. However, it has become an exercise in futility. Are there any retailers that have packaged an Arduino board with other electronic components to make their own "starter kit"?
If there are no kits for beginners, what components could I purchase separately to make a kit? What are your recommendations for a book to purchase as a project guide?
Again, thanks for your time and advice.
I answered a similar question in the General Category section of this forum recently: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,136551.msg1026233.html#msg1026233
Robotshop also has some other kits, so be sure to check out the alternatives.
There are many different kits out there. I would suggest buying kits from people that have tutorials on their sites of the parts they sell for Arduino. Also, if you aren't comfortable soldering components together, for a first kit, I would recommend going with a kit that doesn't need soldering (i.e. skip the sparkfun and adafruit kits).
I'm not sure of books. I bought the Radio Shack reprint of the make book (http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12264446
), glanced at it a few times, and mostly have learned by reading this forum, and browsing the learning section. However, I've been working as a professional programmer for 33 years now, so the programming side is fairly simple for me, though I can understand how it is frustrating to people who haven't been doing it for awhile.
You also might check out if your local Makerspace is offering classes. In the Boston area, Artisans Asylum will be doing a intro to Arduino class in January and February: http://artisansasylum.com/?page_id=1803