The only experience I have with micro controllers is with the arduino. I felt extremely limited by the arduino especially in the cases of embedded design. I'm interested in completing a number of projects with embedded micro controllers and I don't know where to start. In looking at learning PIC micro controllers, I've found a book called "Learning to fly with the PIC24" and it requires an explorer 16 development board. This book seems to be outdated though? I don't know if this would be the best place to start.
I am interested in learning a long term solution in the proper way so that I can be a proficient PIC hardware design electrical engineer. What recommendations might you have for me? There are so many families of PIC chips, I don't know what I should start on. Should I get a development board? Is there a specific book/resource that you recommend? Should I start 8 bit, 16 bit, or 32 bit?
Thanks for your recommendations! I'm willing to spend a lot of time in the near future learning the PIC and I don't want to be wasting my efforts on something too difficult, not useful, or simply outdated.