From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
This is a huge game, but it's fairly intuitive. IE, if your the Allies, you know something bad's going to happen on December 7. From that point, you husband your men, aircraft, ship, equipment and supplies so that you can take places that Japan doesn't want you to take.
If the idea of complex planning intrigues you - you have the ability to invade New Guinea in early 1942 or the Kuriles in 1943 etc. ad infinitum - this is the game for you.
Most of us just jumped into the game, but we had a big advantage. Many of us learned the interface basics through years of playing predecessors Uncommon Valor and War in the Pacific. That made a huge difference.
But I think if I was really interested in this game, I'd buy and start off by playing several matches agains the AI, while also reading After Action Reports in this forum. Then, as soon as I felt minimally competent, I'd try to find another newb so that we could rattle the cage by playing each other. We'd make lots of mistakes, but who would care? That's how you learn.
I've been playing UV/WitP/AE since 2003. They are the only games I've purchased in at least eight years. I expect AE to be all I want in a game for the foreseeable future. I've got years more in me.