Getting a handle on Gadgeteer, a great opensource kit that makes electronics easy...er. It is initially quote daunting mainly due to the cost but this is the sort of thing that will drop in price as more and more of these kits get developed and the platforms become more interesting.
Gadgeteer Useful links
http://di.ncl.ac.uk/gadgeteer/2011/11/21/your-first-gadgeteer-project/ a PhD student that is using gadgeteer for interesting things.
http://www.tinyclr.com/ the forum for Gadgeteer, I will be honest it is not as advanced as arduino but I reckon it will get there, it is mainly the initial cost of the kit... quite allot at the moment.
good guidance PDF on coding, to be honest all of these things are complex and not put across in the best way, they need to guide by doing and build on what people actually want to make.
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/net_gadgeteer/ one of the main blogs of gadgeteer, there are very complex projects on this but I think there should be more simple things, there is allot that is initially taken for granted and just orientating the build space would be very confusing for 'technophobics'.
had some great meetings about Artefact Cafe (website 2) we started playing with the bits for bytes machines, they are simple, they are very editable and serviceable, you can also play with multiple materials that is interesting. mainly been a planning week and getting hands on which is always good, writing proposals etc. the outcome of the bits for bytes, they are good, they are cheap, they are a good makers tool. there are some initial things to overcome but they deal with undercuts well. They struggled with thick objects but they are not really meant for that... remember they are tools! use them wisely, RP machines do not make good products, skill does. Probes still coming back thick and thin, analysis of them will come out soon, hopefully in a paper.