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I'm new to the SLR world and trying to figure out the difference between the T3i and T3. Any help is appreciated.
Actually, the T3 has the better image quality. Cramming more megapixels onto the same size chip, just gives you a noisier picture, with less dynamic range.

More megapixels is mostly just a sales tactic. A 7 MP camera will easily give a clear 10x12 image, so anything beyond that is only useful if you do a lot of cropping. Unless of course, you make poster size prints, in which case, 12 MP is plenty.

I could care less about a higher res LCD...

The main reason to go for the T3i, is if you are interested (or think you may become interested) in doing video. The T3i does far surpass the T3 in all but just casual video captures.