Could you be a little more specific? What files did you edit? And what exactly did you edit in these files?
I know you said you don't want to use them, but the *AMP's aren't necessarily a bad idea. Especially if you're just starting out. If I needed to set up a quick or test webserver right now, I'd more than likely use LAMP. So don't think it's a matter of pride or anything.
Another thing, there is always the option of reinstalling phpmyadmin if you truly did just mess too much up.