Now I see why you consider yourself yuppyscum. ;)
Two things. Raid is hideously expensive. Secondly, I question the
amount of experience one is likely to gain from using it. Afaik, you
just plug your interface into it, and treat it like a normal (albeit
4/5th's the total capacity) drive. Unless you're willing to take the
system down every time you want to 'play' with the hdd-array (for what
purpose?), there wouldn't be much to learn about it.
My $0.04 worth.