Let's be honest...
You have in your hands one of the most advanced technologies currently in use. I would say, other than Peter, there are no advanced members using the a65 or a77, yet. If there are, they're not speaking.
I am afraid you might be better served by going to Dyxum.com, where many members have stepped up and bought these two SLTs. You, soon, will become one of the masters at how to make this particular camera sing and dance to your tune. Do not be afraid to experiment with the camera. It is in the extremes that we actually learn our limitations.
Speaking for myself, I can offer you the practical camera knowledge when using a SONY DSLR, but my personal experience stops at the a100, a700 and a850/a900. This "newer" technology is still outside my current need, although when they do release a Full Frame version, I will be a lot more interested in seeing what it has.
I hope you are now finding a path to resolving your issues.
Erisct, it's good you had a friend to help out, at least you know the camera is not the problem and you need to get to grips with the lens.
Although there is "a lot of stuff on this" on the camera, you don't have to use it all at once. In any case a lot of it is redundant for me, I simply don't use it.
Is this when you view at 100% or when looking at the full image?
Are you cropping heavily?
What ISO are you using?
To avoid noise it's crucial to get the exposure right.
Press the "Disp" button until the Histogram shows in the bottom right corner and make sure you ETTR.
Don't be fooled by highlights that are not part of the subject; let them burn out if you have to.
Stick to ISO1600 as an upper limit if possible.
ON THE LOOKOUT
Camera: Sony A77
Lens: Minolta AF 200mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 300mm Equivelent
Exposure: 1/2500th at f4
29th Sept 2011
thank you all for the help and understanding of my frustration and yes it is a slt not a dslr which is like learning to walk again you know how to do it in your head and when you do theirs 3 stairs to go up. But thank you all.