The Caddilac of ropes in my opinion is King ropes. They are a little more money but they are worth it. I use a 60 ft extra soft. I would recommend a 30 ft soft for someone just starting out. Don't bother with used ropes. The firmness is actually called twist so if you go to buy a rope and the salesman asks you what twist you want you don't have to stare blankly at him. The softer the twist the less bounce and the more forgiving.
A video that I watched this summer that helped me tremendously is called "There's roping to do" by Joe Wolter. I have roped for years and I learned things in that video that helped me catch more consistently in real working situations. It also shows how to prepare your horse to be roped off of.
There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill