Your scene will open up to a perspective view with the default cube selected. First, we need to know how to delete objects. Since the cube is already selected, simply hit the "X" and LMB-click or
to confirm (Figure 1). This can also be done with <Delete> (but not <Backspace>).
Now that we're ready to create an object, keep this in mind: objects are created at the location of the 3D Cursor. Right now, the 3D Cursor is located at the origin. If you were to LMB-click somewhere in your view, the 3D Cursor will move. Remember that by default, Blender selects with RMB. To reset its position back to the origin, hit Shift + C.
So to add an object, hit Shift + A to bring up the Add menu. For all of you familiar with the prior versions of Blender, <Spacebar> no longer works by default. On the top level of the Add menu are the main object groups. These include Mesh, Curve, Suface, Metaball, Text, Armature, Lattice, Empty, Camera, Lamp, Forcefield and Group Instance.
If you hover on Mesh, a sub-menu pops up with all the different types of Mesh objects you can create (Figure 2). Select UV Sphere from this menu. A sphere appears in your view at the origin. Prior versions of Blender gave you options to configure the component detail when creating an object. If your Tool Shelf is not visible on the left side of your view, hit "T." Look at the bottom of this panel to see the "Add UV Sphere" section (Figure 3). LMB-drag in the Segments and Rings fields to change them. Notice the geometry updates in your view.
However, now grab the transform handles and move the sphere a bit. Then look back for this panel to see that it has disappeared. You only seem to get one chance to edit an object's geometry before you lose that option. The same thing happens if you Tab into Edit Mode and Tab back into Object Mode. Even though you have not transformed the object in any way, you should edit the geometry options right after you create it.
Delete the sphere and create a Curve object. I've created a Bezier Curve. If you want a better look at any of these objects, disable the transform gizmo with CTRL + Spacebar. You may also use NUM "." to frame up your object into the view. Look in the "Add Curve" panel and click the drop-down menu to see a list of the curve objects that were in the Add menu. Select a different one than the Bezier Curve to see that your curve just changed in the view. Again, you have one chance to do this before the option is gone.
Delete this curve and add a Surface: NURBS Tube. Just like the curves, you may change this NURBS Tube into another NURBS object with that menu. Notice that there are NURBS curves within the Surface objects. These curves are not the same as the Bezier curves. The NURBS curves can be joined to create a NURBS Surface.
Feel free to experiment with adding other Objects in the Add menu; I won't go through each one in this tutorial.
In prior versions of Blender, whenever you created an Object, it would align to the view and enter Edit Mode. By default, the new version does not do this, but if you wish to change it back to that way, you can go to the User Preferences window (Figure 4) and change it. Click on the Editing button at the top and then look at the left side of this section for "New Objects" (Figure 5).
Also, in case you're already a Blender user and wish to change the Shift + A method of creating objects back to <Spacebar>, you can do this by also visiting the User Preferences window. Click on the Input button at the top to access hotkey mapping. Find the "3D View" section and expand it. Then expand the "Object Mode" sub-section (Figure 6) and click the "Edit" button to access the hotkeys. Look for "Shift + A," and you'll find it about half-way down the list. Expand this "Call Menu" section further (Figure 7).
Click on the button next to the "Press" button. It will then say "Press a key." Hit <Spacebar>. It will then say "Spacebar" on that button. Finally, you need to uncheck the "S" box to deactivate Shift as part of the hotkey combo (Figure 8). Now, go to your view and try <Spacebar> out, and you will see the Add menu pop up.
The only thing you need to do now is save your settings, otherwise the next time you open Blender, you will have to use Shift + A to access the Add menu again. At the bottom of the view, click "Save As Default" to save the settings (Figure 9). You can also use CTRL + U to "Save User Settings." Realize however, that saving the user settings also saves the view layout, so if you were to close Blender right now, the next time you open it, you will see the User Preferences window. With that said, set up everything you want and then save the user settings. To reset the layout, etc., go to File, Load Factory Settings.