I to agree with the going to the proshop.
Once you find a bow you like look it up on ebay or archery talk. You can probably find one for half of a new price if it's a year or so old. Buy all the accessories from the pro shop and have them install everything. They usually install everything for free. They will help you with technique and form.
Most of them have several releases you can try. Get to know your pro shop people and they will help you out.
Sign up for a league and shoot a lot.