Downloadable, Real-World, Working, Example Applications
I've been using Ruby and Rails and other ancillary technologies for a few weeks now. I've gone through many articles, blogs, tutorials, et al. However, I've rarely found any downloadable "working examples" or "real-world applications". Everything is very basic and it's proven difficult to learn beyond the basics. It could very well be that I'm searching Google with the wrong keywords? In any case, I know sometimes the real gems (pun intended) out there don't always show up in the top of the search results. So I wanted to ask the community for recommendations regarding tutorials, informative sites, and I'd REALLY like to find some apps I can download, run, tweak, etc. Thanks in advance!
Rails wasn't created for downloading apps and running them, It was created so that you can make new apps fast from the ground up. If you're coming from PHP that's a big difference, don't expect to take a project and customize. You are given the tools to create your own.
There are a couple that I could suggest you look at, but I don't think you'll learn all that much about Rails doing so.
ActiveAdmin: A DSL on top of your models which creates an admin system where you can login and edit all of the data ridiculously easily.
Refinery CMS: A popular CMS
http://guides.rubyonrails.org/, railscasts and peepcode are excellent resources for getting up to speed and productive.
Read the guides right through, they are spectacularly good.
The best way to learn is to start creating apps that you want to use, when you get stuck we can help you out.