Serial read/Multi-servo control/74HC595 control

I’ve ordered my first Arduino and want to
take on the challenge of using it to control a bot for my son.
I have a simple servo control program (outputs serial data) that I used with an old controller
that bit the dust.

Task 1: parse a string of serial data (chain of two string values like: Servo1,Position,,Servo2,Position,,Servo3,Position,…

Task 2: use the Task 1 values to change the positions of 6 actual servos.

Task 3: use the Task 1 values to drive a 595 shift register to control some lights by converting the servo position values to 16 clocked bits with latch.

I’ve seen several code samples for serial reading, servo and 595 control, but I just don’t know how I should pull it all together.
Any ideas on how I should approach this?

That's also what I want to do. Just like a serial servo controler at http://www.lynxmotion.com/images/html/build136.htm It uses Atmega8/168 and 4 pcs of 74hc595, has 32 channels of 1uS resolution servo control. The motion control can be immediate response, speed controlled, timed motion, or a combination. A unique "Group Move" allows any combination of servos to begin and end motion at the same time, even if the servos have to move different distances.

I am still trying to figure out how to do this use Arduino and 74hc595. Hope someone could help.