Barely a week ago, I was happily unboxing my Freetronics Arduino starter kit (available here in Australia) and the Getting started with Arduino book by Massimo Banzi one of the 5 developers of the Arduino environment. The introductory chapters of the book are well written and you get a good sense for the passion of Massimo for electronics and prototyping. The obligatory what is electricity and the water pump analogy out of the way, it gets stuck in the first sketch - making an LED blink. This is relatively easy to achieve and a nice quick and easy success for the beginner.
The next challenge was to use a push-button switch to add some interactivity to the mix. This is where the lack of an endorsed starter kit makes following the book a challenge. There isn't enough of an introduction to the electronics components required (other than explaining where they can be purchased). The diagram uses a full-size bread board which is different to the tiny breadboard that comes in the Freetronics starter kit. Still, its not impossible to figure out. My circuit is shown below:
The LED is partially obscured but the other connections can be easily figured out. A slightly more challenging tutorial is available here.