Advicing on strains is like advicing on girlfriends, and this site is like one of those matching places, with plenty info on candidates with photos and first-hand comments. You want variety, indica, sativa and hybrids, and autos too. I can only suggest to look for the most common ones, afgans, skunks, hazes, og's, etc, and then hybrids of them, so narrowing the choices.
The common ones are also good for learning about the basic flavours and highs. Search for the most reputed of each, and of course, pay attention to those that actually grew and docummented it than hearsays or hype pushers.
As a basic rule, the bigger the pot (or hole), the bigger and stronger the plant. As an example, it's not the same seeing some white fly in a small pot than in a large plant directly on earth. The first can ruin your plant, the second will have its own little ecosystem to keep them at bay.
Also, a small pot needs a well controlled water ph whereas the large ones are more flexible.
And good luck, it also helps a lot the first time.