I'm a relative beginner as well, but I have been exposing 4X5 film like mad for about a year now...
I messed around with Gossen meters and an incredibly complex digital thing made by Sekonik, I ending up taking them all back after I got a used, very old analog Pentax/Honeywell 1 meter that is built well, works great, and is extremely accurate (as compared to the newer meters). Judging from the way it's built, at the time of it's manufacture it must have been a top of the line "pro" item. I highly recommend it. They come up used on ebay from time to time. The only problem with the very old ones like mine is they take a funky battery that is no longer made ( I have a few spares) but I understand that the slightly newer models do not have this problem.
I deal in measuring/calibration instrumentation for a living, and (having taken this unit apart to examine the circuitry) I can say that this instrument was designed and built with care. (Nothing against the newer products, but they have that lightweight "plastickey" feel of modern consumer electronics).
And it's about 30 years old, like me :whistle: !

Matt