#1
Just what this place needs, another old former drummer looking for another instrument to hack up.
Lol. 54 years old, been drumming since Noah's ark. My hands cannot take the beatings from the drums anymore.
Anyways, I picked up a starter set. A Laguna 6 string with a Line 6 amp. I had it set up and restrung with Earnie Ball Cobalt strings, the super slinky pink pack. String sizes, 9, 11, 16, 24, 32, 42.
I have used strings the next size up 10-46 but I have an easier time with the thinner strings.
So now I am developing finger calluses from my fretboard exercises.
I have lurked in the shadows here and now am ready for plenty of good advice and tips.
I am a HUGE RUSH fan. I like the way Alex plays, he certainly is no Steve Vai or Eric Clapton. But he plays great melodies and I think he has quite a range of sounds from his years of playing with Geddy and Neil.
#2
Hey Nexxus. The smaller gauge strings are certainly easier to learn with, because they're easier to bend and in most cases feel smoother. A lot of guitarists will argue that the heavier strings deliver better sound, but that's something you can experiment with on your own.

We have all kinds of different resources for you to learn from, from the Guitar Techniques forum to the Musician Talk forum, which specializes in the theory side of music.

Hope you can find everything you need here, and more.
Quote by Trowzaa
I wish I was American.

~ A Rolling Potato Gathers No Moss ~
#3
That Line 6 amp. . . yeah, if you're serious about guitar, you will eventually find that to be a huge mistake.

Anyway, best to try and learn a little bit of theory and then other people's songs, learn more theory, then try writing your own songs, and of course keep practicing.