What you are encountering is just the initial learning curve. And with GeoServer (which the OpenGeo Suite uses) the learning curve is pretty nice. I'll try to list some concepts for you, and then if you can send me a URL or IP for your server, I can send you an example that uses your layers. For a deep dive in, check out my source code here: https://github.com/gccgisteam/maps-website. These are complicated examples, but use a lot of nice features out of GeoServer.
Here's a really simple map, just Open Street Maps and One GeoServer layer: https://gist.github.com/alexgleith/8ff4794153c7fc0124b3
View it live here: http://rawgit.com/alexgleith/8ff4794153c7fc0124b3/raw/ac7b23726798d0d0c74a3c74912e18f67f1598ab/index.html
Now this example is as simple as it gets. You can add any of the Leaflet plugins or zoom buttons, or whatever.
So, as promised, here's my list of concepts:
- OpenGeo Suite installs GeoServer, Postgres+PostGIS and GeoExplorer
- GeoServer runs in Tomcat, which is a Java servlet container
- GeoServer consumes spatial data (from your file system or a database) and produces a standard API to access that information
- Two main ways to access information are: a) as a rendered image (WMS/WMTS) or vector data (WFS)
- You want to use WMS for displaying many features, and WFS for displaying only one, or for editing (but you can't really edit with Leaflet).
- If you use GeoServer then you want to understand GeoWebCache, which is a intermediary between the consumers of WMS and your server, and it caches things and makes them fast.
For now, get my GIST and change the WMS layer to point at your server and layer (remember that you have a layer that is referenced with WORKSPACENAME:LAYERNAME). You also probably don't have a reverse proxy in place (which means you can get rid of the :8080) so you will have a URL or IP like http://myserver.com:8080/geoserver.
I hope that helps!
(Oh, final plug, if you get a reverse proxy working and set up Cross Origin Resource Sharing then you can use my new tool, BootLeaf GeoServer. Let me know if I should write something up about reverse proxies and CORS.)