Appointments at the Genius Bar are free. If you have a hardware problem, fixing it will cost you if your machine is not under warrantee. I think you will find that the Geniuses are less than helpful if what you want is to learn your way around the operating system. They are mainly there to fix problems. Apple now has this "One to one"
program for $99 that is for training people on things like how to use the operating system. They also have free workshops
, which are more like lectures. In my experience they are okay for showing you some of the things you can do but not a very good place to learn. If you are new to the Mac, I would say the best thing to do is to go to an Apple store at some off-peak time and tell one of the sales people that you are new to the Mac and would like them to show you around. The staff aren't usually geniuses, but they generally know their way around the operating system and they generally have more time than the Geniuses. Of course, your milage may very. I find that individual staff members, both sales staff and Geniuses, very widely in how much they know and how much time they are willing to give you.