Every distribution has some kind of a helper program to make maintenance easier. Why not? I want all the help I can get. You can always learn how it works if something breaks down.
So how do you learn when there are so many different variations?
It's all pretty much the same thing. The differences are just superficial. Every now and then your favorite distribution will make a radical choice that annoys the crap out of you, you switch to whatever looks neat, and you'll find yourself at home in no time. Once you know one the transition is much easier. That's why I completely disagree with people who say "If you learn Suse, you learn Suse, if you learn Slackware you learn Linux."