My first post on these forums, and as you'll see from my profile, I've been a big fan of Paradox titles since first stumbling across the original Crusader Kings. I followed up with HOI3 (which I recently repurchased on Steam, so that I could add all the DLC and expansions) and Pride of Nations (which I must admit I couldn't get into at all). However the release of CK2 has made me a fan all over again, and I have now added Victoria 2 and Europa Universalis Rome to my collection, with plans to get EU3 and Sengoku as soon as I can.
Having had an initial try out of V2 by playing as an uncivilised nation (Nepal), and Rome (messing about with Wales) I think there's probably a nice progression that could be followed while I learn (and re-learn) the basics of these games, rather than leaping straight from the fairly simple CK2 to the more challenging mechanics of V2 and PON.
As an example, I think Sengoku might be a nice bridge between CK2 and Rome (with it's reduced control of characters being a bit puzzling), and probably EU3 might be a nice introduction to the concepts of PON and V2.
As a one time player of Avalon Hill board games (possible giving away my age a bit here), I find HOI3 to be more intuitive at least as far as the combat goes.
Any thoughts very welcome