I don't believe they have the Lightwave Discovery edition available anymore.. They released that about 2, 2.5 years ago. Even if you could find a copy, you'd be working with v7.5 which is a couple version behind and limited in what you can do with it.
You could look at buying the education version which is the same as the full commercial version - you just can't sell anything you produce with it. You could then buy an upgrade from the education to the commercial after 6 months.
Well, it's not for the faint of heart - most modling interfaces are pretty complex affairs with lots of options and lots of terminolgy. I'm only a very bad novice at this point.
It also takes a lot of time - not only to tweak a model, but the rendering process can take forever for a complex scene (there is a reason movie houses have 50-100+ computers just doing rendering!).
How hard is it to learn? There is a pretty steep learning curve when you first step into it - there's modeling, shading, texturing, lighting, animation, camera tracking, etc.. aspects that all need to be learned to some degree. And if you want to do some really neat stuff, there's composting and post production work that needs to be learned. And if want to be really good at all of them, you'll be doing it for a lifetime. Hey, movie houses have specific departments that just do the modeling.. and specific departments that just do texturing.. too hard to become a true expert at everything involved in the 3d world.
But it does get a little easier once you reach a certain point and are more comfortable in your choosen software package interface.
Ep, glad to see you come back and tidy up...did want to ask a one day favor, I want to enhance my resume , was hoping you could make me administrator for a day, if so, take me right off since I won't be here to do anything, and don't know the slightest about the board, but it would be nice putting "served administrator osnn", if can do, THANKS