Personal tastes aside, all presses will make fine ammo and last a LONG time with just a minimum of care; you really can't go wrong with any of them. What volume of ammo you need, and the level of precision you may seek, is a larger question.
Single stage presses are quite simple devices and the best to learn on. They are the easiest to load preciesly with and to change loads with. They are slow but loading speed is NOT a friend to precision loading.
Conventional turrets (Lyman/Redding) really add no significant speed to a loading session, especially if you load for more than a couple of calibers. All the heads can do is store a few dies. However, Lee's turret presses have an "auto-indexing" head that does speed reloading and they can be used as single stages as well. Lee's turret heads are inexpensive enough to have them set up for each caliber, swapping them can be done in seconds without tools. Many people love their Lee Classic Turret (iron/steel body), it's massively strong and fast too.
Progressives are great for cranking out the same load by the hundreds or thousands. Not so good for changing calibers, nor so easy to vary charges in the pursuit of accuracy either. But, they ARE fast!
Perhaps the best route for a new guy is to get a strong but low cost single stage and learn to load well first. Later, if he wants more speed he will still have uses for a single stage and will also have the experience to make a better choice of any new press he may be interested in.
IF I were doing the buying for a friend he would get either a Lee Classic Cast single stage or the Classic Turret, depending on if his major interest is rifle or pistol.
Last edited by Fuzzball; 05-29-2010 at 03:35 AM.