..., and a very. light. touch.
That's what makes it so enjoyable. You don't wrestle the tool (as with a bic or ballpoint), it just flows with your mind. Once you master it (you get used to relax), the hand, the holder and the nib disappear like magic.
As for holders, price is like sneakers, mostly vanity and self-suggestion. Beyond some basics (balance, weight and tact) the rest is a matter of taste, vanity, aesthetics, etc... Personally, I do also prefer the tact of wood, but couldn't resist getting a beautiful Murano's crystal one in Venice just for the heck of it. The ones I most use are from my childhood, and I must confess I don't know what they are made of (possibly wood covered in some kind of plastic paint or whatever, I don't care), and a thin one that was my father's (this is thinly red painted -and worn out- wood with a metal section).
That's the only thing I would consider as a beginner: you have several kinds of holders, BIC makes a nice one with a lever that makes it easier to fix nibs, most holders are just pressure/spring, and you need to decide on whether straight/oblique and standard/thin (because there are also standard and thin nibs). You can fit a thin nib on a standard holder (not too well but you can).
Nibs... first decide if you want pointed pen or italic calligraphy, and if the former, flexible or firm writing.
If it is italic, the best advice I've found was on Francisco de Lucas' manual (XVI Century): start with as large a nib as possible (well, within reasonable limits), writing large letters: this will help you concentrate on straightness, shape, identifying problems and fixing them, then work your way down to thinner nibs and smaller letters. Since this is written straight and the nib is firm, you may want to use a fountain pen (set) with italic nib(s) instead for commodity.
If it is flexible, start with a forgiving nib (the 'G' nibs are universally recommended) and then work your way down to more flexible nibs.
Relax. Ink should flow effortlessly, I would say "jump" from the nib to the paper, or if you prefer, the touch should be so gentle as to barely allow ink to slide from one to the other, the nib should "float" over/above the ink. Avoid pressure (takes a lot of time when you come from other tools) with both, italic nibs (they are like knifes) and flexible nibs (they are like needles). Relax. And enjoy.
Remember, what you are trying to master is Art.