I think most of the above are pretty good - elohim, elves (ljosalfar), bannor is decent, lanun good on water maps. I'd say the Kuriotates aren't so bad either (I played my first game as them). Basically, if you just read the civ description, you figure out to spread out your cities, and then they are completely vanilla - also getting the adaptive trait is nice. For warmongering hipppus is a good start I'd think, clan is good if you want to be evil.
The most important thing, by far, though, is deciding how you are actually going to win!
The tech tree is monstrous to new players, and the victory conditions may seem impossible (500 turns into the game you can't just switch and get the altar, for instance). My experience in my first game was getting through the whole tech tree, finding nothing to do, and then defaulting to culture.
So my recommendation is for a new player to choose a good civ, not dependent on magic, and go for a peaceful vic (you won't escape war anyway
, against barbs at the least). If you play smaller maps you could choose a civ for an easy conquest/dom vic too, but then you won't get as much feel of the game at first I'd think. But I'd recommend staying away from esus, OO, and definitely AV with Hyborem and hell terrain - too many confusing aspects for a new player, while the good religions are relatively simpler.