I pretty much with what Mitch Wagner is recommending for first time bloggers although I'd recommend Blogger first (I don't see his reason for not recommending it as a good one. I rely on the comment registration and CAPTCHA to keep out the riff raff.) with Vox a close second.
And then I recommend Typepad as the one to "graduate" to or to start with if you're really serious about blogging and have a direction and focus for a blog already established. My 3 most important blogs are on Typepad. My fun blogs are on Blogger. And I'm just starting to test out Vox.