I currently use Blogger to keep a personal blog - just something that lets friends and family keep up with me while I'm studying at University.

What I want to do is switch software. I'm very comfortable with PHP/SQL and it seems Word Press is the overwhelming winner. I'm hoping some of you can point me in the right direction as far as learning how to customize it.

Here is what I want to do:
1) Transform my blog into something more technically-oriented. Specifically, I will be posting more about PHP/mySQL programming, and providing code snippets, etc.

2) I want to be able to categorize each post into the appropriate area (I know this is available by default), but I also want to have a sort of "homepage" for each topic rather then just a list of all the posts tagged with that title. That is, I want a section for each (well, most) topics I post about and that section should have custom layout.

3) Any sites that you find you frequent when looking for new ideas when customizing word press.

Any help to guide me, especially with #2, would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.