Mentors are great! The thing for me is that I need to have one way to do things, even if it is the "wrong" way, as long as it works. Once I have things working then I can work on improving and personalizing it. These forums are awesome, and books are great, but sometimes when starting, too many things all at once can really cause more confusion than help.
I find that a lot of beekeepers don't talk a whole lot about it, personality thing, but there are a lot of them that you just can't get to shut up about it (like myself!)
Club meetings are great too!! Get out there if possible. You can usually get somewhat cheaper bees through them too if necessary.