The Magento E-commerce system is an exciting open source alternative to systems like OS Commerce. The learning curve isn’t really a curve at all. The learning curve is more like a sheer, glassy. polished mountain face shooting straight up into the heavens. However, plenty of documentation exists, Google overfloweth with links to blog post, and IRC support is available on Freenode #magento (although I believe most questions go to /dev/null so expect to feel a little like you are talking to yourself but like your $200/hr psychologist will explain, sometimes that’s all we need).
As I work through understanding how Magento handles layouts, I struggle to find a simple list of actions and perhaps I’m trying to hard. So far the is this:
Update: The Magento wiki has this defined under Designing for Magento.