Unfortunately regular expressions are just one of those things that take time to learn (and alot of it). Knowing the basics of what each and every symbol does, and how modifiers affect that is one of hte best places to start. Without the basics of regular expressions, the rest is pretty much pointless.
To extend on VI's comments as well. This is a very true statement. Though the syntax between eregi and PCRE can be a little different, its mostly the same. I would recomend using the preg_* commands as well for all of your regular expression needs. I believe ereg is being depreciated in PHP 6.
__________________ There are No Stupid Questions. But there a LOT of Inquisitive Idiots.
The Following User Says Thank You to drewbee For This Useful Post:
It does take time, I've been learning by necessity over the last few weeks at work. I was tasked with various searches that where it would be impossible to do by hand because of the amount of files (some returned over 2,000 results in roughly 70,000 files). They are always going to be a finicky pain in the butt, but they are so useful you will want to keep them around.