For a first time driver, I'd go with the 2005-2008, with the V6. Tranny is up to you. if you're a first time driver there's no reason to waste your money on a V8 GT. Don't forget: the costs of the GT are more than just a higher sticker price. You get larger and wider wheels, which means well over $100 a tire. Probably closer to $200 a tire....which, as a first time driver of a car with a V8 you'll probably burn a set down pretty quick.
Get the V6. It's the easiest to drive (the V8 is very nose heavy), drives the best, is the safest. It's the most fun to drive. Save the classic for when you're experienced not to wrap it around a tree. Heck, the V6 has well over 200hp. That's still enough to "roar" a bit from the engine when you stomp on the gas, and the nose rises up as you accelerate.