I just got my freeduino, lcd/button shield and protoshields from Shipping was 7 days from the UK to Texas, far quicker than I expected. With the assistance of the tutorials on I was able to write a program that performs the appropriate logic and simulates the outputs via the lcd and inputs via the buttons. Next I'll build the actual hardware interface with one of the protoshields.

I'm thrilled, I have gone from total noob to functional in less than a day. Well, ok, I'm a programmer, not a total noob, but I am a hardware noob.

Thanks nuelectronics!

Disclaimer: No, I don't work for nuelectronics and he's not paying me. I searched before I bought and I didn't see any info on his store, so I figured I'd share.

Interesting this, I have bought Arduino parts from Italy,UK, and the USA, I wonder if we are wasting money on postage when the parts are available in the country we live in?.
I never even knew of the existance of nuelectronics and I live in the UK, perhaps some sort of register could be set up with suppliers.

A list of Arduino distributers is provided here Distributors — Arduino Official Store and recommended third party hardware / other related hardware is here