For a novice horse owner, it would probably be better to get a good, all around 'been there, done that' kind of horse. Just because you have a horse like that doesn't mean it'll be boring.
You should try to foucous more on the individual horse, not breed, color, etc.
As for an Arab for a first horse - Like you said, the majority are high-strung and spirited. Although there are some that are wonderful and calm.
I've grown up around the breed, and learned to ride on a great Arab mare. Sweetest horse you'd ever want to be around. Never freaked about anything.
But now we have a Half Arab gelding that is an absolute whacko.
It really just depends on the horse. But with the majority of Arabs, it seems like you just have to know how to chanel all that spirit in a positive direction. Like our Half Arab - He's a great horse, very smart, but you really have to ride him, if that makes sense? You constantly have to be doing something to keep him busy and make him think, or he starts acting up.
The world is best viewed through the ears of a horse.