I agree that learning the basics of strength training can be confusing, especially because there's not one "right" answer, but rather a number of ways you can go about it. For a beginner, I think a full-body strength routine 2-3 times per week is a good start. I'd suggest 1-2 sets of each exercise, doing 8-12 repetitions in each set. SparkPeople's Workout Generator is a good way to get started b/c it will give you a program based on your goals and equipment available. Here's a link: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_plan_
Hope that helps. Let us know if you have more questions.