So what's a new player to do after reading the New Player Guide or some of the other guides available on starting out in EvE?
Well if you run missions or enjoy pvp: one word (it could be two, I'm not a professional): BattleCruisers.
Why? Well it's pretty simple really; battlecruisers are much tougher and usually more powerful offensive weapons than cruisers, but at the same time they use the same weapons systems. What this means for you is that you can continue to use the weapons you have been working on for cruisers but they typically become more effective which helps take on those tougher rats or really put the hurt on other players. Those medium railguns or beam lasers that you crammed onto the cruiser hulls for missioning can be used again on a battlecruiser hull as well.
This is a bonus because it will allow users who are obsessive optimizers to take a break from learning combat skills to grow in the learning skills. It also allows those players who want to expand beyond missions to take a break and tackle those desires, all while being able to continue making ISK in missions or even nul-sec belt ratting.