Trust me, launch coasters arnet as bad as they look, in fact, I'd argue Rita is quite dull. Although coming from someone a whose favroite coaster is the fastest coaster on earth, I would say that.
But either way, launch coasters are very fun, and intense. Whilst they are a little scary, but not nearly as intense as the likes of Oblivion and The Smiler.
As for a first time launch coaster I have no idea, as mine was Space Mountain: Mission 2, but I would think Rita is a good place to start. As for its actually layout, other than the first hill and the launch, its rather dull, but still exciting.
I hope this helps.