You mght want to check out the classifieds section on this site first. Gives you the chance to touch and feel the lens you are buying. Also you can find good deals as members do sell used lenses at much lower price.
Entirely wrong mindset. Learning the fundamentals is as easy/difficult on an entrylevel camera as an advanced one. At least the entry level camera still offers Auto, which can be a basic guide for newbies to see what settings the camera would use in a given situation.