I wrote a tutorial (soon to be book).  It's fairly popular, I think;
it showed up in del.icio.us/popular recently, anyway.  :)

  http://pine.fm/LearnToProgram/

It's pretty gentle, and many have learned Ruby by it over the years. 
And I always encourage you to email me if you find something in it
that confuses you.

Between that and the other great resources presented here, you should
have no trouble finding your footing.

Welcome to Ruby!

Chris