Overwhelmed newbie

I am working with IntelliJ IDEA community version.
My goal is to build 2 intellij projects: a hello world example in java using TestNG and another in Scala using ScalaTest and eventually see how they can be mixed and matched.
I have typically made my own builds in Ant and now wish to make the switch to Maven. I have found two helpful tutorials:

The Online Maven Book: http://www.sonatype.com/books/mvnex-book/reference/public-book.html to get acquainted with Maven
The Online Maven Tutorial for Intellij: http://wiki.jetbrains.net/intellij/Creating_and_importing_Maven_projects to see how it's done with Idea

I have the latest version of everything downloaded on my harddisk ex: Maven 3.0.4, Java 7.xx...
I am not sure if the preferred method is that of using plugins as explained here:
and here:

Or rather I have my suspion that it is but I need someone to tell me which is the shortest road that leads to Rome as I can't wait to start running Scala in Intellij.
Some concrete asumptions i have about using plugins is that they do not requiere that I down load the jar files. In that case, which plugin would I need in which order?

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Apparently "IntelliJ IDEA fully integrates with Maven version 2.2"
Can anyone tell me if this means that I must drop version 3 and use version 2 instead?

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using maven 3 is just fine


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