I'm as knowledgable as you! I bought the essentials suite and am seriously considering getting the refund and going for the solution route.
However it is about time I learnt more aboutmysql etc.
It answer to your queston I was advised elsewhere to by the user registration and use that as a stepping stone.
Now I am html literate and my css is good, php passable but mysql knowledge is zero, nada
I bought the user reg solution and within 2o minutes had it up and running on my test server.
A very good £50 spent because now I do have a stepping stone.
It's a pity that they don't supply basic database examples with the essentaial suite.
Either way no complaints about this solution