I try not to say I am an expert, I just have some years of experience with some failures that were turned into successes. Experience is a good teacher.
If you have never been to a PASS Summit, I would bet you would leave there more excited about SQL Server than when you arrived. The Summit has some of the most enthusiastic SQL Server professionals I have ever meet.
Most talks are by IT people in the field, not salesman trying to sell you software. You get real world experience. The 24 Hours of PASS will have some of these speakers giving previews of their Summit talks. Some Summit talks are regular sessions like mine(75 minutes), but most are doing either 90 minute Spotlight sessions, 1/2 day sessions or Pre-conference sessions which are Monday and Tuesday of the Summit.
I have been to the PASS Summit 3 of the last 4 years, have gone to pre-conference sessions every year and plan of doing the same this year. I have also watched 24 Hours of PASS the last 2 years when I can at work.
Please join us this Wednesday and Thursday for 24 hours of free training by SQL Server experts and ME!!!