Personally, I browsed back for several months worth of forum posts taking notes when I was trying to get a handle on FS9 initially.
Oh, about the lack of reading 'in the box'... It's nearly ALL html files in "The Learning Center" and that should be your main source of information for the next several weeks or months... that little "FSX Insider" pamphlet mentions the learning center on page 3 also.
The 2D cockpit is a forward view with a FIXED panel display across the screen; moving the view does NOT move the panel. 3D or VC (Virtual Cockpit) allows you to move and pan the view around inside the cockpit. Most view features are adjustable so this 'generic' description is rather simplified.
Hooked since FS4... now flying:
self-built i7-4790 at 4 GHz; GA-Z97X mobo; GTX 970; 8GB gskill; 840 EVO OS; 840 EVO game drive; Win 7/64; quiet, fast and cool running.