This may help some but not be the help you are looking for.
Try thinking of learning linux the same way you learned dos. Navigating the directories for a bit with the simple commands and when in doubt using a help file in linux to get the basics to getting around. I too am a complete newbie to linux. But if i follow the guides already stickied to the top of the forums i have no problems installing the drivers. It took me a few hours to figure out how to edit the config file for the video drivers when i mistyped an nview option in it. While i was sitting at a prompt i used the basic dos skills i have to read most of the help files and figure out how just to edit the text file. If you have problems editing a file maybe its just not limited to Linux in where the problem lies but towards the more old style of a command prompt and directory navigating. There's tons of guides online that can help with that if need be
And all those voices in my head have every right to be there.