Sorry for the long delay in replying, and I certainly hope you have found a source for a new wheel. Yes, this would be a great choice to beging with, and to keep! I learned on an Ashford, and many people adore their Ashford wheels and never choose anything else.
Here is a site that frequently offers used equipment. Maybe if you still need a wheel, it will help!
I have an Ashford Traditional, and love it. It is simple to use, and it is relatively common, so it is easy to get replacement parts. i hope the OP has found one - it took me forever to find a used wheel I could afford!
Yes, the Ashford is a very good wheel for beginners as well as seasoned spinners. My Grandmother was a spinner. They were poor farm people on a Wisconsin farm many years ago and she did not spin for fun or enjoyment as we do today. She had to make my dads, aunts, and uncles stockings, sweaters, scarfs, and wool blankets as there was no money to go to the store and purchase such things.When I was young I had a feeling that when she died that the art would be lost so I learned it. I have many antique wheels. Have sold quite a few on the net and have for many years taught classroom spinning with both flax and wool. The Ashford is very good at spinning both fibers but with the flax you will need a separate distaff if spinning long line strick flax. It is a very enjoyable and ancient art !! Hope it is alright if I put in my 2 cents worth, dave