Croatia, Serbia, Belgium and Macedonia made up a strong-looking Group A at Saturday's draw in Rio de Janeiro.
Levein does not know too much about some of his side's rivals, and the one familiar opponent - Wales - was not one he particularly welcomed.
He told Sky Sports News: "I would have rather avoided Wales because obviously it brings in that home international rivalry which we probably could have done without.
"We have recent good experience of playing Wales when we won against them over in Dublin recently, but also not so long ago we lost 3-0 to Wales, so it's a bit of a mixed bag.
"But I look at that group Wales were in and I don't think there's any doubt there are other teams in there I would rather have played."
As for the fierce Balkan rivals from pots one and two, Levein accepted he had plenty of homework ahead.
"I look at the group and there's a touch of the unknowns in there," he said.
"It would be fairly straightforward for me to answer questions if pot one had been Spain or Holland or Germany or England, but I don't know much about Croatia. And in pot two I know a fair bit about some of the other teams not so much about Serbia.
"I know a bit about Belgium - they're improving, in particular with regard to the younger age groups - and Macedonia we have recent experience of."
He continued: "There is no coincidence that Croatia are in pot one and Serbia pot two.
"A lot of people don't maybe know an awful lot about them but it's not a lottery - they have had to earn their places. They've obviously had very good results in competitions recently. We have to give everybody their due respect.
"Some of the dangers are that when people don't see a Spain or a Holland or an England come out in pot one they think 'oh, that's an easy team to play against' without knowing the strengths of the opposition.
"That's something I have to get up to speed with very quickly."
SFA chairman Campbell Ogilvie added: "We haven't played Serbia before but we have met most of them - and most of the countries can beat each other.
"It's certainly a very competitive section on paper, a very competitive group.
"Obviously everyone will talk about Wales but we've got a year to prepare and how the fixtures pan out could be crucial.
"There is always great interest in a home nations fixture."
Belgium coach Georges Leekens warned Scotland and Wales to beware his up-and-coming side, which features highly-rated Lille star Eden Hazard as well as Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen and Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
"Everyone can beat everyone, there are no weak teams but no really strong teams like Spain and Germany," Leekens said.
"British football can be tough and I don't think Wales are a Pot Six team. But we are coming up for a small country. Watch us, we will be there."
Wales manager Gary Speed insisted Group A was "wide open".
Speed told Press Association Sport: "We have a chance of qualifying from this group.
"We will have to be good and have to be at the top of our game and we have to improve from where we are now but if we do all that then we have got a chance.
"There are six strong teams in there but it's also a group where any team can beat any team on their day. From that point of view this group is wide open.
"Croatia and Serbia are traditionally very tough, Belgium have turned the corner and the Scotland matches will be great for the fans.
"I'm happy to have got another home nation side - it adds to the interest and we know their strengths have played against them in May in the Carling Nations Cup."
Patrick Nelson, chief executive of the Irish FA, said there would be excitement at the prospect of Northern Ireland playing Cristiano Ronaldo.
Nelson said: "When you are in pot four of the seeds you expect some big teams as opponents and we have got some big teams to play, and some others with long distances to travel.
"It's good to have a marquee name and Portugal have got one those in Ronaldo who is one of the best players in the world and that will certainly help us sell tickets.
"We are going to be developing Windsor Park over the next four years anyway so we have to work in our games around that, and it's going to be an exciting time."
Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington's current contract expires after the Euro 2012 tournament and Nelson said any decision on his future would be made after the European qualifying campaign.
He added: "We have five games to go and are still very much in it. We play the Faroes next and if we win that then we will be in great place for potentially getting second place in this group - there is still a lot to play for in Euro 2012."