but fixed function OGL is easierNot really. People weren't happy with OpenGL 3.x not because they deprecated fixed functionality, but because they left that cruft in.
That state system of Lighting (and everything else) was a right mess and glBegin etc... were simply too inefficient to justify using anyway for any project.
With the new system, having multiple shader programs and simply setting uniforms for each one is so much less hassle since you know the names of each one in the shader and can obtain them in a generic manner rather than remembering to use gl_TexCoord or gl_MultiTexCoord0 etc....
I am usually quite adverse to change like this in such a foundation API but I am waiting for the days where fixed functionality code cannot be found in libGL provided by Nvidia, AMD or Intel. (Though admittedly it will break a shed load of closed source projects and games lol)
And yeah, I would stay away from the superbible books because he teaches using his own wrapper classes which I cannot stand.
As for books, I think I can only recommend the OpenGL Programming Guide (Red Book) and simply try to get the newest version of that you can. The OpenGLBook (http://openglbook.com/) is great for simple reference, but it also doesn't get very far since I think it was abandoned
EDIT: Maybe also the OpenGL Shading Language (Orange Book).