I bought my first bitcoin using Coinbase , click to use link and I get referral credits :)
The first purchase takes 4 days, but after I can buy more readily.
The process was simple, but credit card verification was a hassle, simply because my credit card company refuses to show charge amounts until a charge clears. (two charges used for verification by coinbase).
As soon as my bitcoin is 'mine', I'll start using it to buy Quark Coin, Lite coin, etc.
Check out my previous posts to see how the values are trending.