You might want to spend more than just 2 days "lurking". As you have noted, the Arduino world is somewhat complex and widely applicable to many different projects. Spend some time looking through the Exhibition/Gallery section to see what other people are doing with Arduino.
I am sorry to have not been more clear. I have been watching the Arduino projects on Youtube, Engadget and Instructables for nearly 2 years now, just never knew what exactly it was. The hundreds of projects have inspired me for some time, even the most simple LED blinking is impressive to me.
There are many variations of Arduino because it is "open-source" and many people have different notions of what would be useful. That is a good thing. It gives you many options so you can select something that best fits your project.
This is what I find the most interesting. It is just as amazing as the advent of cheap pricing for computers. When costs are driven down this low it totally paves the way for innovation and at the very least implementation. I know that every person out there has a use far more important or relevant to what their individual needs are the the person before them. But with the fact that the price point is so low combined with the development being open source together it opens up worlds to us all.
I guess the main reason I am writing is because I do not have a specific use in mind for myself, this is why I don't want the options to me closed. I want to have my desk cluttered with as much as I can so that I can attempt any project I want. Certainly one board would limit me more than another if I don't know what all I want to try out yet correct?