Into my second week in SL and things are going much better. I found a couple of really friendly places:
Lilly's Irish Pub http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Lionheart%20Taka/18/106/29 - nice crowd there and friendly and chatty :)
Speakeasy: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Four%20Bridges%20Project/98/26/27 - again nice crowd - friendly. Poetry readings and live music.
I would recommend both these place to both new and established SL residents :)
I've been putting together some outfits from stuff I have bought and stuff I have hunted and got for free.
Everything in photo 1 was free:
Hair is from Alice Project http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Juicy%20La%20Jolla/186/186/26 It was free from a hunt.
Also at Alice Project there is a Midnight Mania and some Lucky Boards and a Group Gift (Group is not free to join but I joined as I felt I most certainly was happy to give this creator some lindens as I got a lot from the free stuff there which is nice and new and MESH!)
The Dress, Shoes, Necklace and Nails are also from hunts.
Skin is from Al Vulo - Group Gift
Eyes from Poetic Colors - freebie
Look 2 - Not Free Stuff
Hair: Alice Project ~ Mandi Blonde
Pants: Cold Logic ~ Cooper in Camel
Shoes: SLink ~ Astrid Boots in Milk
Skin: Dutch Touch ~ MenSje in Caramel (not free but on sale)
Sweater: Mon Tissu ~ Heathered Pullover in Grey