The folks at drupalize.me are really good and they have 50 minutes of free videos on panels. This is a good panel resource. Take some time and watch this if you want to have features like:
- visibility based on login status, ie anonymous, authenticated. in other words, anonymous users can only see limited stuff but authenticated users get a lot more.
- a drag and drop editor for the panels. which is being able to pick up sections of content and move them around with your mouse.
Very good. make sure to take a look if you don’t like the inflexibility of the themes and the way they display content. because one of the little things about native drupal is that it assumes that you want the same layout all the time. and unless you want to code everything, get around that using views and panels.