Judging from your location alone, you have the availability of hardwoods for smoke and for fire. So that would be a viable option, though expense of the smoker will generally be higher than the other fuel types.
IMO, for ease of use and pretty decent smoked product, I use propane more than charcoal. If I had the availability of hardwoods for fuel, I'd be running a stick-burner by now, but that's not an option where I live.
My Smoke Vault 24 is a high capacity smoker (for small gatherings or family use), and is strictly propane fueled. It can handle full packer briskets or pork loins, 7-bone beef rib roasts, etc. with ease.
I have the smallest GOSM (3405GW), which is propane fueled as well, but I modded it for a quick-change over to charcoal a while back, and have used it with charcoal several times...it does a beautiful job with the color and flavors of the finished product. This is best suited for whole chickens, pork butts, beef chuck roasts and smaller items, because of it's smaller grate size.
Then, there's my SNP 40" horizontal with side fire box. Originally, I used it once with charcoal for a brisket, pork ribs and large fatties. After that day I converted it to propane due to the excessive amount of charcoal consumption. I also installed a custom built tuning plate and this really helped me turn around the grate temp variations. Horizontals are not very fuel efficient, but the ease of their use out-weighs the fuel consumption IMO. I have since used this smoker for many charcoal fired smokes and have been very pleased with the results. I was looking for that deeper flavor which only a solid fueled fire can give.
Between the vertical smokers and the horizontal smokers, I really can't say which I like best because my use of each type is based upon what I'm trying to accomplish for that particular smoke. I guess it gives me more flexibility to change how I will cook my food. I do smoke larger volumes at times, and have been known to have 2 or 3 smokers running at on time, though, 3 is rare. Sometimes I feel like a bit more of a challenge which I can get from a charcoal fire, and when I want that really great flavor...that's when it's time for a charcoal fire for me.
Anyway, for the beginner, I started on a propane smoker (the GOSM), after smoking pork spare ribs on a gas grill for several years. The only regret I had about this smoker is that I didn't buy a larger size. It served me very well for several years, and then I started upgrading to larger smokers.
I digressed, but that's a closer look at the reasons behind my collection of smokers, and how I got started.
My advice would be to start with an easy rig to operate, with good reliability...propane fueled would be my choice. Fuel is inexpensive, the smokers are inexpensive, and they require little tending during a smoke, and are basically an all-weather cooker, as cold temps won't make them shy away from putting out high enough chamber temps to get the job done.
As you get more involved in smoking, you may want to add a second smoker, just for the challenge, or one which offers larger grate space, for the larger cuts of meats. I'd just start out slow and go with the flow...you'll know when you're ready to make a change.
Welcome to the craft, brother!