Next patch racial bonuses are coming (stress/closed people should get it)
As far as newbie info, I didn't have too much trouble starting out but you can ask away if you have any questions here or from helpful people.
Cool to hear there are more racial bonuses coming.
As for newbie questions, I guess I can think of a couple off hand (I'm sure these are all answered somewhere on Blizzard's forums, but I really don't feel like delving through months and months of new and old info to find it):
Does a different race, sex, or class give your character different starting stats? Meaning does a male dwarf warrior have different starting stats than a female human paladin?
How many talent points do you get, and when? Can you ever re-allocate them?
How exactly does defense and attack powers work? How does using a two handed weapon affect your chance to block/parry/dodge?
Is there a negative to just learning every skill possible from your trainer? They seem ridiculously cheap (and some of them seem useless to me).
What are the best skills and talents to start off with as a Paladin and a Hunter? I previously played a paladin to mid teens in the last stress test, but a lot has changed since then I guess.
How do I smelt ore into something useful? Is it even worthwhile to mine and smelt my own stuff to blacksmith, or can I buy it?
Will I ever be able to smith something that is actually useful to me since I can't set up a shop when I leave the game?
Am I able to upgrade my professions such as a mining skill?
Basically, I just don't want to get 15 or 20 levels into the game and realize I made some big mistake or should have been doing something different all along. It seems like a lot of the info is hidden or just assumed that you already know it. If they are looking to bring in the mass-market crowd with this one, I think they need a little more hand-holding and a lot more explaining in the beginning.
1) Races make a difference in stats. I'm not completely sure if class does or not.
2) You get one talent point per level starting at level 10. In beta, you can reallocate them with an NPC found in each major city. That's probably going to change in release (Pay a fee to do it or something, I'd imagine).
3) I'm not completely sure how defense/power works. I just know higher is better. I believe Attack Power plays largely in how often you hit. Defense more than likely has to do with how often and how hard you get hit. I'm not sure what a 2 handed weapon will do to you in terms of blocking/parrying/dodging. I don't think it does anything, except you can't block (Need a shield).
4) No negatives to learning everything. They get to be a lot more expensive as you hit higher levels. Considering you get new skills every two levels, they really do put a hurting on your wallet. Unless you're one of those people who always seems to have boatloads of cash.
5) Can't tell you what the best skills are. Your best bet is to read the offical forums for each class. Personally, I usually just go with whatever sounds interesting, just being careful not to spread out too much between the different branches.
6) You smelt it by going to a forge, which turns them into bars. If you have one of the building tradeskills (Blacksmithing, Engineering), you get recipes from the trainer to make more useful items.
It's worthwhile, in my opinion, because that stuff gets expensive to purchase. And you always need more. So buy and mine. Don't limit yourself.
If by "set up shop" you mean being able to sell the stuff you make, then yes you can. Use the auction houses (Ironforge for Alliance, Orgrimmar for Horde) to sell your stuff. You can set your auction to last 2, 8, and 24 hours and add a "Buy it now" price if you so wish.
And yes, you can upgrade your professions such as mining. After you hit a certain point, you can go to a trainer for the next step up. If I remember correctly, it's generally around 50, 125 (Or is it 150?), and 225 hat you can raise it up.
I don't think it's really possible to make a huge mistake in this game. It's pretty forgiving. The only potential problem would be talents, but I'm sure Blizzard won't force you to keep what you pick from the start.