I wanted to empathize with your frustration. When Lightroom 1 came out I purchased it and promptly got frustrated, angry, and uninstalled it. Not a real smart or mature move.
May I share a few events that changed me to the point where I can't imagine photo editing now without Lightroom?
One, the more I read and followed forums and attended seminars, it became more obvious that Lightroom was a valuable tool, and that I "just didn't get it." I needed to re-look at Lightroom.
Two, I got my hands on a book by Victoria Bampton called Lightroom FAQ. Victoria was the first one who was able to penetrate my thick skull so I could understand the database concept for managing and editing images. And that the database file was a separate animal from those image files. Here is her website: http://www.lightroomqueen.com/
Three, I took a four day class from Seth Resnick and Jamie Spritzer of D-65. The class was nothing short of excellent and helped me a great deal with file naming, setting up images files, understanding import, etc. Seth and Jamie teach their class all over the country. It is well worth the time and money investment. Here is their website: http://www.d-65.com/index.html
Four, Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and the gang at NAPP have been fantastic for books, online help, etc. Scott and Matt have more of a cookbook, step-by-step approach, but their material has been very helpful.
When you get the concept down that the Lightroom Library is a separate database file with each image that you import being a record in that file, and that the image files themselves are separate files, you'll have come a long way.
Stick with it. It's worth it.