My Mom uses elements 10. I have to say i don't like it either. It's not intuitive to me. I use CS6. Elements will do almost everything photoshop will do it usually just takes more steps to get it done. Here is a link to a training course on elements 9 http://kelbytraining.com/course/lbecker_elements9_beginners/, I doubt much changed between 10 and 9 but you should be able to get the basics.
I Don't use LR, but LR doesn't move your pictures it just catalogues where they are and allows you to work with them in one place(the LR interface). As far as having a space for your good pictures, the easiest way to do this is LR would be to rate your pictures then create a smart collection. Here is some info that may be helpful http://blogs.adobe.com/jkost/tag/collections