I can say with a fair amount of certainty that, as a beginner, you will stay out of the park for a while until you get more acquainted with riding.
Is this your first time on a board? If so, I would suggest going with rentals until you get better at understanding what your needs are. It makes sense to go with a medium stiffness binding as it's not stiff enough to translate every little movement straight into the board, and not soft enough to make turning difficult. People on this forum with more experience than I can give you more specific advice on this.
As for brands, I think Burton, Ride, Union, Flux, Targa, and a few others make quality products that will last you a while.
Also, make sure you start with picking the boot before moving on to the bindings, and google "how to pick bindings" for some good advice. Check out thegoodride.com as well for a good starting point. Just take it all with a grain of salt, there are instructors and experienced users on this forum that can give you first hand advice better than any site.