i would suggest to stay away from dwarfs as your first army, as they are not very fast, and lack a magic phase. lizardmen are everything dwarfs are and are not (tough, fast, magical, shooty) and would make the best beginers army.
dwarfs are deffinatly an amry that can do very well, but if you do not know what you are doing they can fail. but they do have the same move distance as every one in 40k though, and some of the best shooting.
humm, true. This is yet again proof the Orks are smarter the Elves.