As others have said above, use good equipment and you will get good pictures. If you want to expand beyond that, you better know what you're doing because your brain has to substitute for all that electronic brain power. Do you know more than a computer? Good luck, buddy.
To answer your question; yes, using a camera in manual mode is that difficult. But it is very rewarding. It's how I work almost all the time, but I screw up a lot.