The first time I made hard cider, I just made 4.5 gallons of apple juice from WalMart concentrate and dumped in some Nottingham yeast, and that turned out great. These days, I just make my hard ciders with some quality apple juice (Whitehouse brand), and it is even better.
The tricky part of hard cider is keeping it sweet if you bottle and want sweet hard cider. The technique to backsweeten in a keg is incredibly simple, but the technique to backsweeten in a bottle is an inconsistent PITA at best.
Anyway, that's what you are dealing with. If you want to make a dry, English-style cider, hard cider making is just like brewing beer without the brewing part.
If you want more details, I'd be happy to walk you throught the steps, just PM me and let me know what kind of cider you are trying to make.