^ I'm also self taught (with the exception of a C++ class I took in high school, which didn't even touch pointers), so I guess I understand that. You probably got off on the wrong foot with pointers. For me, pointers are an absolute must and I'd go crazy without them. Sometimes they can get confusing (especially double pointers). If they are a problem, then I guess I'd recommend C++11 and concur with Corvwyn.
I've gotten used to managing pointers manually (in pure C) to the point where I think nothing of it.