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It really is just a whim TBH and I won't have a lot to spend until after Christmas but really just wanted to know what sort of stuff (+ease of use) was available to a complete beginner.
a great "first synth" is the Roland Gaia..
it sounds great, is pretty capable, and was actually designed to be [according to the manual] a synth for first timers..
one of my boys has one... I think it sounds great..