Never has the phrase RTFM been more appropriate then when it comes to installing and configuring SharePoint. Now as it turns out an awful lot of customers don't actually read the manual. Perhaps they read some crazy blog posting by some bloke you've never heard of and take it as gospel - and as you expect end up in a right state.
Now there are two reasons I suspect people don't read the official TechNet documentation.....
The offical SharePoint 2010 TechNet documenation (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee428287.aspx) is fantastic and really does cover an awful lot of the day to day questions you're probably needing answering. Luckily for me, customers don't read this and keep me in a job by having me read it for them and recite it back to them!
To help you navigate the 1000's of pages of content, a number of landing pages or Resource Centres have been created which will guide you to the most important documentation for a given topic.
The links below are the master index of all available Resource Centres for SharePoint.
SharePoint Server 2010 Resource Centershttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/ff465365
SharePoint Foundation 2010 Resource Centershttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/ff467946.aspx
SharePoint 2010 Developer Resource Centershttp://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/bb964529.aspx
I couldn't agree with you more.