In order to balance the forces of PIC and AVR – an anonymous reader shows us this thorough tutorial on getting started with Microchip’s PIC. –Link

And if you’re confused as to which platform to start working with, you can get a quick rundown of the differences over @ Ladyada.net –Link

Related:
A beginners guide to the AVR Micro-controllers –Link

From the Maker Store:
Make Controller
Make Controller Kit –Link