sendmail for newbies????????
Yes. In fact a good doc covering sendmail vs. exim vs. qmail vs. no local mail would be awesome. I can read the docs on each, but figuring out which one to use, how to have a basic yet secure configuration and where to start (maybe that most of all) is something I'm lacking...
In a nutshell: you don't want to do that. Otherwise, the reference documentation is the book from O'Reilly. It is 1232 pages long, which should tell you something about the complexity of the beast.
You can also get info on postfix, another email server on this site here. Its simplicity lies in its configuration files, which are mainly a long list of heavily commented variables. With sendmail you are somehow expected to compile them using m4, which is another red herring!
Web page: http://www.sendmail.org