What is the best way to get started with Linux, more specifically, Ubuntu?

I am interested in learning Linux as good as or better than I know windows, reason being, I may have to use my computer for school soon, and REALLY don’t want to wait for vista or depend on having it not crash/freeze in class. I know the basics like duel booting, using a VM, and installing, basic apt-get, but I want to get to know it better.