James, in my opinion TurboCAD Pro Platinum is easier to master than AutoCAD. Why?
Its the interface that makes it easier to navigate to the required tools and functions. Moreover that entire forum of experts ( Im not one now but maybe someday ) that make the journey so much more rewarding. Personal achievement and improvements from my experience have shaped my experience that Im very comfortable in being able to draw almost any mechanical device that I can imagine and do it easily in TurboCAD.
TurboCAD is far cheaper that Autocad in price point and bang for buck. I was at the same point you about 20 months ago and I did a lot of checking based on features and tcw won hands down. Check for yourself on autocad versus TurboCAd and others, you wont be disappointed.
Hope this helps.
TCW V21, 2016-2018 PP, Animation Lab V5, TurboPDF V2-V3 & LightWorks Rendering Engine mostly.