For those without motherboard or electrical component experience or for those without programming experience who are interested in getting their feet wet for somewhat cheap, check this company out.
If you are a complete beginner I suggest Basic Stamp Activity Kit.
If you have a some knowledge of components (LEDS, diodes, resistors, compactors, rectifiers...) but do not have the programming experience I suggest the Basic Stamp Discovery kit.
If you have both hardware and software knowledge I suggest you go all in and have fun like a kid again!
I am going to start using these to get my technicians feet wet.
Enjoy! Feel free to send me your PBasic programs and electrical schematics or ask for mine.