Re: Here's a Grinch ??
First there's nothing to worry about when it comes to pic's. Once you have a programmer you plug it in run some software and it's done. Pic's once in awhile get the programming messed up (not very often but it does happen) and you just re-flash and it's good to go. If your not ready for that expense or making that step, it's very easy to find someone to flash them for you. Most group buys it's a option to have it done for you.
Boards, I know little of the grinch, but being a older less used board there will be less help available. I recommend the SS series of boards. They are designed for new people and to be easy to trouble shoot. They are documented very well with a new person in mind. The boards are almost always available and parts are common from Mouser and other electronic outlets. Their are may different boards here but the SS Series are the one to start with. After building and using that and reading the information here you may decide on other boards and most boards here mix and match just fine.
So welcome to a great community and have FUN! Also remember, the only dumb question is the one that isn't asked.
2009 - 48 channel MegaTree 4800 lights
plus 3200 lights static display.
2010 - 6 Snowflakes on heavy equipment stored in front yard :-(
2011 - 72 channel Megatree 7520 lights,
120 channel total about 10k lights total