Yes b&w is a very good place to start. It's very easy and you certainly don't need a darkroom. You might visit Freestyle Photo's website and look for a b&w starter kit- you probably find film and developer, stop, fix etc in one kit. If not then you can ask and they'll guide you through.
POTA is a "special" developer but it's not at all complicated to use. You can get it from Photographer's Formulary. If you want lots of dynamic range then look for the extended range version of POTA.