Actually it is not that difficult at all any longer, well at least if you are looking at the basic license. For that you no longer need morse code. For the more advanced licenses which allow you to operate on other frequencies eg HF then yes more theory is required. I'm up in Canada so our requirements may be slightly different. But I would look here, http://www.arrl.org/getting-licensedI guess having both wouldn't be a bad idea, but with HAM, I'm a bit overwhelmed by the amount of learning I'd have to do. It's also really hard to know which radio to buy. For instance, the Baofeng radios i looked at listed a bunch of frequencies, but I have no idea if they are HAM or APRS pr GMRS or whatever capable. Entry into the HAM world is not easy.
Baofeng is a Chinese company that makes VHF/UHF radios that a lot of ham radio operators are running. They seem decently built vs cost and for just starting out are probably ok. Plus operate on VHF (2 meter) 144.000 MHz – 148.000 MHz, and UHF (70cm) 430.000 MHz – 440.000 MHz (420.000 MHz – 450.000 MHz) for example. The radios are fairly easy to program with a computer, USB cable and dedicated software or can be programmed through the keypad on the radio.
These radios are not technically legal to operate on FRS channels even though they can be programmed for them, nor are they legal to operate on GMRS.
The confusing part is that these radios can be programmed to operate on these frequencies and if you happen across one of the two available quad band radios that operate on 10 meters, VHF and UHF they can actually be programmed to illegally operate on CB, FRS and GMRS bands......