For me, kayaking was nerve-wracking until I got the roll. I got it on my 9th session in a boat, or about 4 weeks worth of flatwater (and 3 times on South Platte). I had terrible jitters when I heard rivers before I could roll, and afterward, my learning and my nerves were a lot more calm and a lot more fun. But as others have said, people do it both ways.
One place definitely to start is just practicing the hip-snap, which, if you've got some videos, I'm sure you're familiar with.
I would recommend looking into Pikes Peak Whitewater Club, since you're in Canon City.
It's smaller, but centered more around Colorado Springs/Pueblo residents.
They, too, have a yahoo group (I'm a member of both CWWA and PPWC).
The yahoo group (I hope) is here:
Don't forget that you have a nice shop in downtown Salida, and a playpark there with some places I'm sure that you can find help with the roll. I believe the name of the shop in Salida is Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center, but I'm not positive.
I look forward to seeing you soon!