Yes - start with a sorc. They are probably the best "cheap" new char. They don't require a lot of specific gear to use and they're good for MFing.
I'll back up Frostburns suppor of meteorb or blizzballer. Both are good 1st time builds. For either build read "the truth about tals set" in the library too. That will give you a good equipment goal to have for either build.
There's lots of other good guides in the library that may answer your other questions as they come up.
I will say that our item fund thread has kinda dried up lately. If you are on ladder (and it looks like you are on US East) look me up. I try to help out new players when I can.
I would definitely suggest a Meteorb as a first char, it tends to be hell without help for the first 24 levels, but you can be rushed and level easy. (if you were playing on west, I'd would've been more than happy to rush a new sorc, just to show off how good they can be).
the only thing I fear with mine are burning souls (a wisp projector or tgods would end that), and cold immunes with fanat and extra fast on them. A funny story earlier today i had a doll in the durance of hate with extra fast on him chase me will i was teleporting for more than half the durance before i just had to kill him.