You could get a lot of opinions in here .. and here's mine .. REAPER!!!!!http://www.reaper.fm
- I'm not affiliated with Cockos, but I sing their praises whenever I can. ProTools is awesome, Logic is as well .. but for the price ($60), REAPER is incredibly easy to use .. and their forum is one of the most helpful I've ever come across.
The evaluation version runs uncrippled (aside from a start-up splash screen that lasts 5 seconds) - and the download is 5MB for the 32 bit version. That includes tons of free VSTs that they write.
They release updates for it all the time, which is very indicative of how much the user community shapes the software. It's amazing. You'll be up and recording in absolutely no time at all. It's worth a shot .. for the 5 minutes it'll take you to get setup.
READ the forums, ask for advice on topics you can't find with the forum searches. Starting down the road of computer based recording can either be really cool, or make you want to kill yourself. Good luck!!!