Gottfried Hofmann send us a note about that Frederick Steinmetz has created a really good tutorial on the current state of Cycles. He walks you around many of the pitfalls you might encounter and shows you lots of cool tips and tricks like how to cheat with lighting etc.
Here is a listing of topics with time markers:
00:00 - 00:50 And ultra-short introduction to the cycles render engine
00:50 - 02:10 Setting up a simple demo scene
02:10 - 06:10 Lighting in Blender Cycles
06:10 - 16:15 Using textures in Cycles
16:15 - 20:00 Easily lighten and darken materials and textures in Cycles
20:00 - 21:40 How tos set up and tweak displacements
21:40 - 24:00 Overview of the material setup for the spider
24:00 - 31:35 How to cheat with lights in Blender Cycles
For more information go to http://blenderdiplom.com/.