Charcoal may be easier than you think.
First, get yourself a nice Weber ketttle grill. Either a Weber One Touch for $100 or a One Touch Gold for $150, which is a little nicer.
Then get yourself a chimney starter for $10 or so. You pour the charcoal into the top, and then crumple two pieces of newspaper and put it into the bottom. No lighter fluid or anything else. Light the newspaper and you'll have hot coals in 15 minutes.
That being said, I also have a propane grill and use them both. The propane grill is nice because there is zero prep work.
I just use an electric starter with my charcoal, takes maybe 10 minutes to get going.