I bet that non-fretted instrument learners have a better idea of what intervals are and why we use them. you don't have to learn intervals on a fretted instrument and in fact I barely know what a third is, but I bet that intervals have a spatial quality to them that fretted instruments make less obvious because you are looking at dots and not how far you have moved up towards the bridge or nut.
the other thing I wonder about those non-fretted instruments is how the hell do you play those notes way up on the fingerboard without developing carpal-tunnel syndrome. you can't use your thumb for leverage unless you have giant hands and then you'd have giant fingers which would counterbalance your advantage with a certain clumsiness.
I should buy a violin from a pawn shop when I have a little money. I'd rather have a cello but nobody pawns cellos. there is also no place to put a cello in here. I need to play small instruments from now one, like instruments that fit into your computer.
but then I wonder if there is such a thing as Hal Leonard's Violin Method or Mel Bay's Learn to Play Violin.
I'm checking musiciansfriend.com now to see what's available. :)
(I'm also trying to cleanse my palate from that horrible paper I just edited. the next one better be easy. shit.)