Mortgage brokers will save you a lot of time, and they can recommend websites or books to learn more about the process. Some brokers even provide required counseling about VA loans (for military servicemembers).
If you want to educate yourself on all the details, I'd recommend "The Loan Guide" by Casey Fleming. It's not cheap, but it's going to pay for itself when you find the first mistake in the closing documents.
I know Casey from several financial conferences, he's advising me on a messy refinance right now, and the book is a big help.
Mortgage brokers are paid a commission from the lender, not by you. However it's their job to steer you into the best/cheapest loan for you, and they won't mislead you for a higher commission because they'd quickly run out of clients.