As a programmer it has taken me a long time to gradually begin to know my way around blender. I first started with 3d studio max about 17 years ago, but got pretty frustrated and it is only in the last year I've become able to produce anything usable myself, instead of relying on artists.
Blender is very powerful and can produce good results, but is a little rough around the edges, often counter-intuitive and frustrating with the workflow, and has a few bugs, so you find yourself asking, is it not working because of me, or because of the program? Particularly the texturing seems a bit tricky, I might see if I can find another program to do this in, I find myself back and forth between blender and photoshop.
The bones animation is good but takes a while to get used to, and a *lot* of tutorials. Then I had to write exporter plugins in python (horrible excuse for a language!) and debug all the bones animation / weights etc in game. But it works good now.