What size first boat?
You asked about tiller advantages: not only is the lively feedback from tiller steering valuable, the sense of just what your ship is doing and how hard she''s doing it, but you also have a graphic indication of rudder angle. Some wheel steering systems do offer good feedback, others are like driving an old truck. Tillers are always immediate; as alive as your boat.
My first boat was an 11 ft British Moth, which I built from plans in Popular Mechanics, many many years ago.