Emlyn. Firstly I couldnt agree more about stay away from Romaji. Dump it ASAP & get the Japanese language packs configured on your PC, iphone etc etc.
Re verbs, yes they are very confusing. People seem to learn in (at least) two different ways. Some seem to ignore the mechanics, just learn it, but dont look at 'the theory' at all. Others, me included, want to know 'why', how does that work more generally, what is the rule.
Ive also found the Kodansha book useful, but it is a bit of an overload & it can be hard to find the relatively simple thing you want to know. Personally at a simple level I like the grammatical explanations in the Minna no Nihongo books. The indexing isn't great, but it does introduce the important structures systematically & explains them well.