How do I use WordPress as a basic CMS without it looking like a blog? I don’t want comments, list of postings, etc. I just want some pages that link to each other with menus, etc.
The Settings Menu is the place you are looking for. Everything you described can be turned off using the settings.
As for the menus and pages, you can create pages right off the bat, and menu's can be created via Appearance->Menu. As to their placement - see widgets.
A little bit of fiddling around with the system should be quite self explanatory.
Also, just grab non-blog themes. WP-remix is a well known commerical one that is pretty flexible.