In my experience, the best way to start B&W is to both develop your own negs and print. A scanner is an incredibly flexible machine, that can get a decent tonal range out of a neg that is so thin I can barely see anything on it with my own eyes and it is (also) for this reason best avoided. Putting together a simple darkroom and printing small on RC is cheap, I'd at least try to make contact sheets and examine them with a loupe.

One commercial film developer (I'd recommend you Ilford Ilfotec LC29, that is based on HC/HC110, but is prediluted, you'll have plenty of time to discover the nuances between different developers later on), one film, one paper developer, one paper. I'd also encourage you to find an incident meter, they aid in consistency, too.

Don't get distracted by the huge number of opinions on forums (especially film and developer recommendations), a few good articles for now are more than enough. On proper foundations it will be easy to bild anything you wish to later on.