What you may have read about on the web is something known as the "BASIC Stamp" - it is a PIC processor with a micro sized BASIC interpreter - very limited indeed! And the PIC16F877 is NOT one of the version available AFAIK (I have used them in designs at work before).
TO work with a PIC you'll either need to learn assembly (always a good thing but not everyone clicks with that the way some of us do) or C (there are several C compilers for the PIC families, and I'd suggest the CCS compiler as best for someone starting out who isn't going to learn assembly and dig into the hardware aspects of microcontrollers as they provide lots of library functions to help abstract things for you - www.ccsinfo.com
As someone who designs embedded hardware and writes code (in assembly and C) for a living, I'd really suggest getting one of the Microchip demo boards- comes with free tools, documentation, and a boot loader so you don't even need a programmer! You could learn the ins and outs of microcontrollers and assembly all at the same time and you will be MUCH better off for having done so, even if you eventually only code in C.
"With the appearance of the AddressOf operator, an entire industry has developed among authors illustrating how to do previously impossible tasks using Visual Basic. Another industry is rapidly developing among consultants helping users who have gotten into trouble attempting these tasks." -Dan Appleman