In Illustrator CS5 when I select Scale from the Transform menu it reverts to Free Transform and I have to select it again to get Scale. Anyone else have that problem?
"Scale" from the Transform menu is a sort of all-encompassing term; once selected it lets you proportionally scale, scale in one dimension, skew, distort, rotate etc. This is usually an easier solution for most users since it means they don't have to jump back and forth between "Scale", "Rotate", etc. in the tool palette.
The "scale" tool palette option lets you scale in one direction or proportionally. If it's easier, just select the object you want to scale and hit "s" on your keyboard for the scale tool. You'll now be using just the scale (in a "scale dimensions" context).
When using Free Transform, if you only want to scale just grab one of the handles and drag it up / down / left / right / whatever. To proportionally scale (i.e. height is adjusted as width is and vice versa) hold down the shift key while scaling.