Thanks Rob. I'll re-download and give it a look tomorrow.
Gaaah! I reminded myself tonight why I stick with stone tools. I was digging around in a cave with when I spotted five blocks of iron on the floor. As I dug out the last one, I looked up at some more blocks on the ceiling and stumbled right into another cave right underneath mine that was full of lava. Lost my bow, clock and compass, a lovely diamond pick and sword and a bunch of iron armor. *sniff*
I'm new to the beta version of Minecraft, just got it today. I spent most of the time collecting wood and dirt and looking up what it does on the Minecraft Wiki. Then at night when the skeletons came I had failed to make myself any sort of weapon or shelter so I just dug a 5-block-deep hole in the ground and hid there until I got bored and restarted
Welcome the Minecraft man. Congrats, you've just experienced the typical 'first night'.
And really, unless they're desperate, even experienced players find shelter at night. Those monsters are nasty.
Best strategy is to explore and gather wood and food in the day, and burrow into a hillside and mine at night. Gather raw material until you're ready to start on a proper building.