I thought it would be easier because it helps you (drop down menu's and adds suggestions ect.) and you don't need to open up CMD to compile.
I used Eclipse when I started and I don't think I could've managed with it's syntax highlighting and it's compile button.
To me, it seems that tools are good if you know how to use them correctly. However, this is not an easy case for most people. Also, syntax is what you should learn and understand. It is not a good idea to rely on tools to catch it all for you. Under some circumstances, you may have to work without tools (which could happen on a server which does not have the tool installed) for a quick fix; as a result, you would not be struggling. Besides, understand the language at its primitive would give you more understanding why this and that happens in the language. :)
I know I've said this often enough, but here's my two cents' worth once again:
An IDE is a useful tool for development, but it is an impediment to learning to program, because it does too much of the work for you. Learning to program in Java means learning the syntax - getting all of the pieces in the right order - and learning the libraries - knowing what pieces you have available. As a rule, IDEs tend to deal with syntax for you, which means you never learn it properly (you just do what the IDE suggests) and it will offer you library methods, so you never learn the libraries properly.
An IDE typically formats your code for you, so you never have to think about it. When you have to think about it, you're actually thinking about syntax and structure of your program, so it's very useful to you. Using an IDE means you never get that advantage.
I am not opposed to IDEs, they can be a useful tool for a programmer. But using them too early turns them into a crutch, and depending on a crutch weakens you.
I would suggest learning syntax also as it's killing me as a beginner but a IDE with help on proper syntaxing is always good to have with a built in compiler! Textpad 5 is very simple to use and setup. Bluebird i can't figure out along with couple other ones. But just to get started i suggest notepad, jdk, jde for your OS. Then start practising syntax and learn very well arrays. As everything i am learning in college is array based (and its killing me). I don't know them as well as i wish to know them and still have alot of questions on it!
No, please don't use Notepad! It's a terrible editor. If you must use Windows as a working environment (why? I use it at work because I'm on a locked machine, what's your excuse?) I'm sure you can find a reasonable editor. If not, write one!
As for your troubles with arrays - they're a pretty standard piece of java, the complications are laregly due to mirroring the C structures. This tutorial should get you cleared up pretty well. If you have specific questions about usage, start a thread with a question - preferably with an example of the usage that's causing you trouble. There are some smart people here who can probably answer any questions you have, and I'll give it a go as well. :)