+1 on looking at smaller bikes for your first bike.
My 2cents worth:
1) be sure to take the MSF class. It is worth every minute and every dime.
2) the new v used question is a personal opinion. If you find a new bike that you like more than a used bike, all else being equal, go for it.
Every thing else I have to say is redundant to the rest of the thread.
welcome to the group!