Yes i do believe you are in the right place.
Many universities use Mindstorms in their robotics courses, and it is really fun once you get the hang of the NXT system.
If you want to use Java to program the NXT, check out the LeJOS books page (http://lejos.sourceforge.net/books.php
PS. Just because LEGO markets Mindstorms to 12-year old kids doesn't mean at all it is limited to the things a 12 year-old would try