Using Samba (or SMB) shares on Linux is not difficult but you should know some tricks.
First of all, you can use
smbclient to probe your Samba-Server and try to connect to it. You can then mount an SMB-share locally.
In addition, I wrote a tool to synchronize a local directory with a Samba server (without mounting it) via Python. Scroll down for more details.
To install smbclient and nmap on Arch Linux, do:
pacman -Sy nmap smbclient
Then you can use
smbclient to communicate with your Samba server: