I've mentioned the YouTube videos by davidr64yt in this thread already.
I suggest taking a look at the first 4 or 5 and then going back to the game before watching anymore (you don't want to spoil all the surprises).http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bh4EexJO4I
His videos are a great introduction to the basics, and he's recording while he's learning it himself, so it's quite funny in places.
BTW, Notch (the author of MineCraft) just announced that MineCraft has now sold 100,000 copies!!!
And he met with Valve today in America.
Now that's an indie dev success story.
I just love this game, and I just love what he's got planned for future updates.
For comparison, see my first post in this thread. lol