Learn by doing
Like many people, I can learn about SharePoint from reading blogs or discussion board or technet. But I find I really don't understand well until I have a chance to run my own installation of SharePoint. But I know for some folks this is a tough thing to setup -- you need to have a domain, a SQL server and at least one SharePoint server and then configure it all to match what you are trying to learn.
This has been out for awhile, but I thought I should post this so you can get the bits and install your own VM of Sharepoint. Especially with the recent release of the consumer preview of Windows 8, this might be a good way to test out the Hyper-V capabilities of that operating system.
2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine (SP1)