.....i think my main problem is i understand it all in theory when i am swatting up online but when i get out and point the camera at a particular scene i dont know what settings to apply, i have a rough idea but they still dont seem to work, i had some half decent shots after editing some of them but i dont want to rely on having to edit all my pics before they are any good.
Don't worry, you are not alone. Most, if not all, of us went through the same thing. I know I did.
There is so much to think about that when you get out into the field you forget stuff and end up with a poor composition or bad exposure. Fear not, with practice it will start to sink in and it will become natural to operate the camera, evaluate the exposure and compose the image all at the same time.
I am learning photo graphee - see the results at www.danmarchant.com