Hi cwp, I'm one of the folks Jack mentioned at the end of his piece. My first time on track was a Skip Barber three-day racing school in 2001. I found it incredibly valuable—there's so much to think about at once, and it was an effective forum to attempt to piece those things together because you have multiple instructors to guide you. I found myself much more prepared and situationally aware when I began doing track days.
The downside to this path is that it's a pretty expensive splash into racing. Besides that, I like the idea of a school being a first step. Jack or others may have their own takes.
Finally, I'd recommend looking into a book like "Going Faster" by Skip Barber. It's filled with the information Barber, the Mid O school, and others teach. It will help regardless of whether you go to a school, but it'll be extra good to be prepared going into your classes/track sessions.
As they say opinions are like well you fill it in but everyone has one.
There are various forms of compilation today and levels with varying cost.
Access you budget, skill level and match it to what you can afford or do.
Being honest with your skills is the key as anyone can buy a car but few can extract what is needed to drive them.
As they say Fast guys, Rich guys and idiots.
My buddy a good drive often is fixing damage by someone that is over their head.
Computer racing today is where many drivers are coming from. They have mastered the skill less the seat of the pants feeling. It is cheaper and safer to see where you stand.
Racing is a different world today and with the poor economy it is in for trying times.