I strongly agree with Paul about viewfinder information. I divide viewfinders into three classes:

1) insufficient information finders, like the AE-1 mentioned, that keep your eye moving between finder and controls on the body to set the exposure

2) sufficent information finders, which tell you whether your settings are correct, but may not tell you exactly which f-stop or shutter speeds you've selected

3) full information viewfinders, which tell you when you've got the correct exposure and display both your shutter speed and f-stop settings

If you have questions about which specific cameras are which, there are repositories of manuals on line that can help. Google is your friend. Older cameras also evolved to include more or less information in the finder (FT-FTb-FTbN, SRT-101, -102, -202, etc.) and sometimes without any model designation change. So you have to know some details before drawing conclusions if you don't have the camera in hand.

For a beginner (or for anyone else for that matter) the full information finders are the fastest to use and easiest with which to learn. Sufficient information finders are OK if you have a good memory and are used to the camera. I never use or recommend insufficient information finder cameras to anyone who wants to learn what they're doing. They are OK for snapshooters who'll only use automated modes and don't care about the details.

Lee