I will start saying that my experience on Oracle is essentially with Standard Edition and with features included with that economic version. Partioned Tables, Streams, Advanced Replication, Data Guard are all interesting features of Oracle, but they are expensive related with target business of my company, so i’ve not worked with such features yet and i’ve nothing interesting to say about.
Hovewer administering and developing on an Oracle Database Standard Edition is not so easy. Also a backup for a person who has never seen one in Oracle is not an easy task (especially if you need such backup to restore a lost database).
My “Oracle” (with the meaning of source of wisdom”) is Thomas Kyte and his last book “Expert Oracle Architecture”