I fall under the "had little experience" catagory. I had a .22 rifle and had done 200 yards with it and wanted to see if I could do further out. I'll admit seeing the snipers with Rem 700 308's probably majorly influenced my rifle buying choice. When it came time for a new stock and scope I talked to folks on another forum who knew their stuff. So I ended up with a HS Precision stock and damned if it didn't tighten up my groups. Choosing a scope was a 3 month endeavor. After looking at a ton of scopes, reading reviews and learning about features were and more specifically what features I needed to accomplish what I was trying to I finally settled on a Nightforce. I wasn't trying to be part of the tacticool crowd, I wanted a solid reliable scope that was capable. I have since learned a bunch about longer range shooting.
I saw another post about saying something to the effect of why get a .22 when you are going to end up with a long range rifle. I'd say get a .22 to learn the fundamentals, once you've gotten those down, move up to the bigger rifle. You can learn about bullet drop, wind, scope adjustments for pennies a shot instead of whatever higher powered ammo might cost.