I am glad you are posting here Ron, hopefully we can ease some of your fears. I am suprised no one has related, and said they had the same fears when starting aikido. When I started, I had such questions that, ultimately, my training was halted for a short period of time. This is unfortunate, and when it comes down to it, all of questions and concerns were answered through my training.
It is important not to generalize "Aikido" too much. Perhaps the Dojo you are in does not suit your needs, that doesn't mean all aikido dojo's won't.
All I can say is your, questions will be answered without questions. Through training, hopefully, all of your questions will be answered. If not, try another dojo.
As far as the structure of aikido is concerned. Yes, it is very different from all other martial arts. That is because aikido is truely based on principles, not techniques. It is one of the many reasons aikido can take so long to learn and adapt to.
Does any of that help?