Join the Aggressive Inline Cult. I'm sure you could find useful threads as well as get a good response if you posted some questions.
Also, check the Buy/Sell/Trade forum for deals on skates. I bought a full used setup from a reliable member and still use the skates today.
I'm starting this summer and getting some used USD's from a friend. I think they are a pretty good brand.
doesnt matter, just get one that fits your foot, try and find a size chart that will match shoe size to skate size (differs by brand)
dont buy something expensive if your just starting out cause it wont matter
i got razor cults and i love them, trs's and k2 fattys suck, avoid em even though they're cheap