I have been very fortunate to have had people around me to learn from - finding like minded individuals who's opinons you respect is wonderful (especially if they are aptient enough to put up with you - and in my case, that was very trying to my "mentors" ).
I am relatively green in this hobby myself, so a lot of the learning process (I mean the basics - the acutally learning, I think, never stops), is still fairly fresh in my mind - and I would definitely say that there is no substitute for hands on experience under the supervision of someone who knows how. Unless you have friends who are fairly accomplished, I think the class is a wonderful idea. Either way, I think a class is great. I never took one, but I wish I had - even though I basically had the benefit of one on one tutoring. I have a Photo 101 Introduction to photography handbook from a course offered at a local community college, and I used it for refernce quite often - still do some times. THose courses seem to be well laid out and give a good foundation - and I am sure the instructors would prevent me from picking up many bad habits that I am sure I have and dont even know about!
As far as the web is concerned... I don't want to sound like I'm kissing ass - but I have seen what the web has to offer... and I would stick to APUG. I found that with most things, not just photography, the web is so accesible to so many, that it is often a bog opinions that are often misleading at best, and down right wrong at worst. Tread very carefully on the web - my suggestion is, if you find a resource you like, run it by some people here - they will most likely have heard of it, or will be able to give it a once over to see if you will be steered wrong or not.
And do yourself a favor, get a simple 35mm camera, as mechanical as you can get, with a decent 50mm lens, and don't buy any zooms or bells and whistles until you really feel you have exhausted the possibilities of your present equipment - I find having to work with what I have has taught me a lot about so many aspects of photography that I know I would miss out on if I had a bag full of bells and whistles. Also, when you make purchases based on a specifically identified need, you will find youare happier with the results and the amount of money still in your pocket!
I hope this helps a bit - like I said, I consider myself fairly green still, so this is sort of beginner to beginner! Best of luck!
PS Dont hesitate to PM me if you have any questions - if I don't know the answer (quite likely ) maybe I will be able to point you to someone or something that will!