I don't know how running got so complicated all of a sudden in the last 5 years. When I started running in middle school (mid 90s), we went to the running store, had a smart dude tell us what type of shoes we needed, then ran. It just so happens that all these "alternative" shoes cost 50-100% more than the old ones.
I break it down to this:
Step 1) Get a good pair of shoes recommended by a running store after watching your gait.
Step 2) Take...it....very...slow.
Really, I think a lot of the problem is with step 2. People do far too much too quick. I've been running off and on for 15 years now, and I wanted to say that I have never run a single run of half marathon distance or longer, but I think I did one last year on the trails. So ONE run over 12 miles in 15 years. Yet everyone I see is instantly jumping into half marathons and longer as if it's the standard.
I don't quite think it's BAD to have a big goal like that. But I do think it's a big part of what leads to such a large injury rate in running.
Of course, I'm not a doctor or any sort of expert. I'm just an average runner ranting a bit, so take that for what it's worth:).