For a beginner I always recommend a simple silicon carbide combination stone, preferably a Norton Crystalon (their brand name formula). They are a bit limiting in that they cannot produce extremely fine edges, but they can certainly produce an edge that will shave arm hair. Main advantages are that they have very good feedback and are very consistent - if you have trouble starting out, it almost certainly will not be the stone. Once you get your technique under control you can add a finishing hone, strop, or an entirely different set, but that silicon carbide stone will seldom collect dust. One can also simply collect the mud from the stone and use that on a sheet of paper wrapped around the same stone - makes a very effective strop.
I also recommend one of my Washboard blocks sold through the link in my signature. Am working on the next batch and will be listing them Monday - on the thread are some video links and text description as well as feedback from people that own one (or several). Is a good tool for beginner or experienced alike. Much of the video content, though tailored toward use of the Washboard, is practical for all manner of freehand sharpening.
I'd say your first decision is a guided system or freehand, and work down your options from there.