I'm a total beginner at flash as well. But I got the Flash CS3 Professional Bible and have been moving fairly quickly through the book doing the tutorials and then creating my own SWF movies. It is written very well and is making it less overwhelming to learn Flash than I thought. So I recommend it. I'm sure I'm progressing much faster than I would if I were taking an expensive class.
I personally used Total Training and Lynda to learn flash and actionscripting.
In my personal opnion, learning actionscripting will open the door to so much more in flash then just learning how to work stuff in flash.
Both of these sights have free online demos, but of coarse the good stuff you have to pay for. I dont think they are that expensive considering after I bought the 1 dvd set, it paid for itself with 1 job I did, and I have since gotten many more jobs from the skills I picked up.
After having taken several basic level classes dealing with Flash at the local college, I’ve found lots more great information and free tutorials at: http://www.gotoandlearn.com/
The classes were great but I really like working through the tutorials on my own.