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After effects is for exactly what it sounds like - specialized video effects, like better slow-mo, fancy titles, etc.
I don't think you'll be overwhelmed by Premiere. Get it, and ease your way in - don't try to learn all the effects in one night. Learn the basic tools, how to capture, how to set up your projects, how to import, and how to cut and manipulate your clips in the timeline.
It's really not too sophisticated, and to be perfectly honest, learning about the program is part of the fun! You don't have to be ready for something like this in order to experience it - by taking the initiative and stepping up to a program of this caliber you will improve more quickly than if you had gone with Pinnacle or another type of in-the-middle software.
I know what you mean. I learned the program through my school, so I had some guidance. Justin B. is right, all you can do at this point is spend time with it - you'd have to find time to read the guide book too. Just mess around with it, play with it, mess with the tools. Find a weekend where you've got nothing scheduled and sit at the computer and play with the program. There is no better substitue to that.
Like I said up top, you can go for one of the middle-of-the-run programs, but its probably not worth your time now that you have Premiere. I really think that if you're serious about learning, you'll soon find it uninteresting. Premiere will always keep you learning.