Originally Posted by DragoonWraith
But then there's Cleric, Druid, Bard, and Sorcerer, about which I know very little (beyond their stats, which are difficult to turn into understanding). There's already a Druid in the group, so I probably wouldn't take that. Information (and especially guides!) on the others would be awesome.
Druid - powerful, very powerful, mostly due to Wildshape. A Druid with access to the right gear can out-fight just about any Fighter... AND cast top-level spells.
Cleric - similar deal to the Druid, except with Personal-only buffs (Divine Power, Righteous Might) instead of Wildshape. Gets "Turn Undead", which is not so useful for its intended purpose, but with the right feats you can spent it on awesome things (like free metamagic!)
Bard - jack of all trades, as-written sucks at about all of them. Except lying; bards are the best liars in Core D&D, rivaled only by Beguilers from PHB2 out of core. They can be turned into awesome powerhouses, but it takes a lot
of effort. Definitely not newb-friendly.
Sorcerer - more spells per day, but much less flexibility, as compared to a Wizard. Loses out overall, but are good for those who dislike the bookkeeping of Wizard spellcasting. Honestly not a bad choice for a newb spellcaster, as long as you pick a good set of spells (hint: you'll want something targeting each of Fort, Ref, Will, touch AC, as well as at least one flexible illusion, summoning, and buff spell).
Wizard/Loremaster/Archmage is a good idea. Specializing is also a good idea, since spells-per-day are so valuable. Pick what spells you want (remember that you get 2/level, plus more for money), find what schools have the least, and ban those.