+1 I was in the same position as you guys a coupla years ago and was looking at a clash. Almost everyone told me I'd grow out of it in a season. I'm glad listened. Get something that will last you a couple of seasons, and you'll still want to ride later, when you get a new board.
You can learn to carve/ride park on almost anything. It's 90% Rider 10% board...another thing I learned.
A coupla good beginner boards
1. Gnu carbon credit - My first board and awesome in icy conditions
2. Capita Indoor Surivival - This is the board I WISH was my first board, super fun, soft enough to learn presses and butters/stiff enough to handle the whole mountain.
3. Burton Hero/SuperHero - super fun board, but only compatible with some non EST bindings - Union makes a disc (I run Unions on my Joystick)
4. Burton Joystick, someone may tell you differently, but I think this would be rad for a beginner and like the capita, you can grow into it (more pricy though)
5. Arbor Westmark (haven't ridden it) but it'll work for you better after a while than the draft, which I do own.
6. Bataleon whatever...TBT is weird, but forgiving as all get out.
7. Forum scallywag - SUPER cheap and super fun for learning to make turns and some park.
8. Signal parkrocker flat/lite - Haven't ridden one, but some have and would probably say a beginner could enjoy it.
My order of prefrerence from the ones I've ridden would be.
1. Capita Indoor Surivival - cheapest, well built and HELLA fun
2. Burton Joystick - extra money and extra hassle from the Channel system
3(tie). Gnu Carbon Credit...bataleon whatever.
some others will chime in soon, I'm sure.