I hear this all the time — new users import their photos successfully, see the images in Lightroom and see the name of their imported folder in the Folders panel, but from the Folders panel they cannot figure out “where Lightroom has put that folder”. The folder certainly doesn’t seem to be where they told Lightroom to put it during the import process.
This issue is very basic for those who know what’s going on, but for those that don’t, I know that it is driving you crazy. Your folders seem to be a total mess, with no hierarchy.
Here’s the scoop: Lightroom has in fact put your folder exactly where you told it to — it is just not telling you where that is. By default Lightroom lists your imported folder, but not the folder that that folder lives in. (For example, my imported folders are for each shoot, and they live in year folders, which live in my Pictures folder.) To see this folder hierarchy, right-click (ctl-click on a one-button mouse and then go buy a two-button mouse!), and choose Show Parent Folder (Add Parent Folder in LR 3 and earlier). In my case, this would reveal my year folder (2009). Then right-click on this folder and choose parent folder again to reveal the next higher-level folder. Do this as many times as you need to to see where in fact your images live on your hard drive.