I just wanted to add a few quick things:
(1) Youve got a GREAT attitude. I lvoed it when you wrote that you knew you couldnt jump straight to 3D. Its amazing how many people show up here with statements like "I've never written a game before, but I have this idea for a game like WOW only better..."
(2) The coke and code tutorials I thinka re very good. They were written by oen of oru regulars here. They are at www.cokeandcode.com
(3) For a first game, pick something simple. Classic games are good (Pac Man, TANKS, Space Invaders, Asteriods) because they are pretty small, self-contained projects thatnonetheless will make you leanr the basics that all games are based on.
(4) As you get working on the tutorials and/or designign yoru own game, pelase feel free to come back here and ask questions.
(5) There are some decent Java games books out there, but no one really terrific all around text. As you approach specific areas I can probably recommend things. Once you get past the "how Java works" stage then the techniques are the same whether its Java or C++, and there are some good books out there written for C++ that are fairly easy to translate IF you also know C++. If you dont, then reading them could be tough...