You've not said where you live and how you will use your phone. Not all phones work well in all parts of the city/country.
Given that your new to cell phones and cell service, here's my suggestions:
Get a Motorola V325i Tri-mode phone. This will do everything you want (as you mentioned above) and is probably the BEST phone in it's class. Being a tri-mode phone means it will operate on both DIGITAL cell networks and older ANALOG nets. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT because some phones are DIGITAL only. If you travel, even by car, it's common find areas that will not support digital only phones.
Motorola is tops for sound quality and overall product. And you can probably get the V325i for free or a very good price. Don't take a V325, get the newer model V325i as it supports BLUETOOTH.
Great advice I'm sure, but I think you meant to post to someone else.