Just a very quick note to say I'm a week into Stanford's free online Probabilistic Graphical Models course. It's really, really good and I'm learning loads (although does require a fair amount of work). The online course covers the same content as Stanford's postgraduate PGM course (it's not watered down like Stanford's free online Machine Learning course) and has interesting programming assignments. Very juicy stuff and it should substantially improve my ability to refine and implement some of my hand-wavy ideas.
This is the first on-line course I've taken and I'm very impressed. It seems to be a near-perfect mix of the best bits from "real" lectures and the best bits from studying alone with a text book. i.e. it's engaging and "human" like a lecture; but you also have the option to pause / rewind (like reading a text book) to think things through.