Live class is definitely helpful, although that depends on the instructor. Books are helpful. Forums are helpful. Free videos helpful.
Why screencast video CD-s the best? Because the student can replay them and practice along until he/she gets it! Maybe 3 times, maybe 6 times. That is the way to acquire hands-on experience which remains.
OK. Weeks optimistic. Months realistic for good working knowledge. And yes it takes years to become an expert.
Kalman Toth, SQL Server 2005 Training