ps- any good places to start teaching myself?
It's not the shopping cart that's the problem, it's linking it to the payment processor that carries the pain.
You haven't explained enough about what sort of e-commerce solution you need, and the number of products and possible product variations and combinations will determine the solution you need.
For something simple, you would be able to implement a Paypal system. Anything beyond a few products and then you'll need an e-commerce experienced developer and a reasonable budget, assuming you'll hand off payment processing to a third party.
If you're considering handling the payment processing on your own server, then you'd better have a big budget - PCI compliance can be a huge money pit.
Explain more about type and number of products or have a look at some of PayPal's solutions first:
Buy it now buttons: https://www.paypal.com/pdn-item if you only have a couple of items to sell
PayPal Web Payments standard: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_wp-standard-overview-outside Comes with a PayPal cart and takes care of security and gateway issues - my recommendation for you if you have no idea about security or programming languages.