Item Variants on the Commerce Portal - HOW TO???

Hi Guys, We have a beautifully running CP developed. But we have spend weeks on figuring out the Item Variants issue. Can anyone give me any tips on how the hell to get variants on the CP shopfront, in the basket, and into the sales line when it is finally submitted? I saw a thread on this topic earlier, but it was never answered. Surely someone somewhere using the CP MUST have felt a need to sell shirts of different colors or shoes of different sizes? I am grasping at straws and so is my web/c-side programmer. Please throw me a line! regs Vish