I think this "guide" makes for a good starting point for a beginner. A quick peek at what the general opinion is of a number of brands and models. Next step will of course be for the new to choose what he/she is looking for and research it more extensively. I also agree that choosing an AEG over a GBBR is a good choice for a new player. In my experience you can get a pretty decent AEG for very little $ whereas GBBR's tend to be quite pricey especially once you factor in the mags.
I have a Bolt and it is an amazing gun and held up all last season without an issue. I haven't opened her up yet but internals are supposed to be top notch from what I could find out. One local tech told me the first ones that came out had barely any kick and felt sloppy but mine feels like many gbbr's out there, nice and crisp too.