Want to say thanks to all who responded here! Think I researched each and every setup suggested.
I chose the Joyetech Exceed D19, suggested by @d_fabes and reviewed by @CosmicTruth, which I’ll talk about in a minute.
Really like the SMOK X8 Stick kit, @ADKmac, which has the TAF x-Baby Beast and mass battery. But upon consideration, it was ME wanting one, and thought maybe it’d be too much for a newbie, and for a MTL option, they’d have to get a different tank. But I may get one for myself, and if/when any of my recruits stick with vaping, and want to graduate, I might steer them that way.
My next choice was the Joyetech eGo ONE Mega V2 Kit, suggested by @Duchesst. The CLR rebuildable coils look cool, and I like the fact that you can see buildup on the coils easily. 2300 mAh battery seems more than stout enough. Great price and coil options. But, when the vendors I deal with had availability issues, I kept looking.
Y’alls comments about simplicity really struck. For one or two of my potential new vapers, I imagine excessive fiddling would turn them off immensely. And if the tinkerer likes it, well, he can just get himself a real mod and a rebuildable something or other :] I’ll cross the bridge if it is built.
Anyway, the criteria came down to ease of use first, then performance, then cost, then the option for MTL (mouth-to-Lung) or DL (direct-lung) vaping.
The Joyetech Exceed D19 Starter Kit has everything needed (except liquid) to start off, for about $25.
It’s about the size of a big highlighter marker, but the 1500 mAh battery, coupled with the provided tank/coils functions great for its size, and so far with casual use, the battery lasts well.
It comes with a MTL coil, 1.2 ohm, 8-14W, and a DL coil, 0.5 ohm, 20-35W. Coils are NiChrome, and their bodies are colored differently to easily distinguish between them: Silver = MTL, Gold = DL (sub-ohm). Just pop in the coil that matches the vaping style you want to try, adjust the airflow (which has great range), and you are off and running. Very simple.
Both coils have (4) juice holes, and the DL coils have slightly larger juice holes, which so far can wick up to 75% VG liquid. The DL coil vapes really nice, with no off-tastes, and plenty of vapor.
The MTL coil seems okay, but I don’t have any juice made for that setup yet. Tried some 62% VG in it and it wicked fine, but Nic is too low and flavor not strong enough (for me). But it will put out as much vapor as a cigarette will put out smoke.
I mixed up a MTL version of some of my regular juices with higher Nic, 60% VG, and increased flavor percentage by 10%. This should provide a better vape with the lesser vapor provided by the MTL setup, at least I hope :]
NO LEAKS so far. Even let a partially full tank (MTL) lay on its side overnight with the air slots/holes open and facing down, and not a drop leaked. Did the same with a full tank for several hours, and no leak. The MTL coil gurgles just a bit when you first hit it, after it has sat a while, but that clears itself quickly.
The DL tank was not actually “tested” for leakage, but it has been in a purse jostling around and such, and no leak there either.
Keep in mind that as I’ve had no leaks with 62% or 70% VG, people using 50% PG or otherwise thinner juice may have leak issues, I just don’t know.
The tank is a standard 510 thread, so it can be easily removed, disassembled, and cleaned. This is a big plus in my view.
The tank is filled from the top, with large fill slots. Another plus.
Will run in direct output mode (power sent to atomizer relative to battery charge state), and
constant voltage output mode (same power sent to atomizer regardless of charge). I think the latter is preferred, so the vape is more consistent. But the option is there to easily switch to direct output on a fully charged battery to see how big of a cloud you can chuck with this thing on the DL coil :] 40 Watts is the max it will do.
Even the charging port mini-USB, is in the right place: on the side and not the bottom.
The only con I see is that the tank has to be drained to change the coil, but that is a really small con.
Overall, I think this device is perfect for a beginner. And at $25, like half the price of a carton of smokes, it is really disposable if you do not like vaping. If you like it, and move up to a better device, this makes a great backup, or mobile pocket device, or stealth mod. It feels solid and should last a while.