Let's Make Robots!

Theirs Picaxe and Arduino. But any others?

3 small questions actually:

First:

So I've LITERALLY just recently taken an interest in robotics. it seems like a fun, relatively cheap hobby. That being said i've been programming for 7 years. So Im used to C/C++.

SO would Arduino be a better pick for me? I pick up new languages very quickly (i've had to for college). But with Arduino being Based off C........I figure....it might be better? That being said any disadvantages/advantages to using one or the other?

second: