". A fellow made the claim a few weeks ago that he found the turret to be "only slightly faster" than a single stage."
Well, for a conventional turret presses, the 'fellow' was correct. Lee's auto-indexing turret is NOT conventional!
I think every noob would be well served to use a single stage for a couple thousand rounds just to make the learning curve easier. THEN, when you get a more rapid press, having multipule things going on at once won't be so overpowering.
So, suggest anyone get the little Reloader press first. I have two for special work (I put a Lee universal decap die in one and a Lee Auto Prime II in the other) but I've used them to load .30-06 without a problem.
After you learn to load comfortably, THEN get a Lee Classic Turret; it's plenty fast for modest volumes and will last two lifetimes. And you too can use your little Reloader single stage for special tasks, it should not be $30 of wasted money at all!