I'm at the point now that I'm getting so frustrated that I'm losing my motivation. I could use some good news from someone who has been where I am.
Any tips would be appreciated!
I would start by going through the Rastertek tuturials, which have also been helpfully ported over to SharpDX (http://sharpdx.org/f...ials-in-sharpdx). Go through the tutorials slowly, making sure you understand the key elements - you'll soon learn that there isn't a whole lot of difference from XNA on a basic level, just that you have to provide the framework & glue code yourself.
Also, even without a background in C++, you will likely pick up enough while going through those to help you continue to learn the DirectX API (through C#) from any C++ based tutorial site/blog/book or the examples given in the SDK.
EDIT: while I would still suggest doing the above to learn the low level stuff, note that SharpDX is now providing a "toolkit" that looks (from just quickly looking at source) very XNA-like.