I just finished making the Farmhouse Cheddar recipe from the Hard Cheese Kit from Ricki at New England Cheesemaking Supply. It seems like many people here started with that one, including the sticky post at the top.
I have just two thoughts to add that may help other newbies who try that recipe:
1.) I used store bought skim milk mixed with heavy cream. I had to add the other half of the Rennet tablet to get the curd firm enough. If I used that milk again I would start with 3/4 of a tablet from the get go.
2.) It's really tricky to get the weights to balance on your make shift press. The cheese starts out every so slightly out of kilter and then gets worse as the weight then presses more on that side. Soon the weights fall off. My solution was to use round exercise weights in a sanitized plastic planter. A bucket would also work. Putting the round weights in a cylinder forces them to "self correct" as they get out of level. There's a picture of my press here: The Final Press Solution on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
You can see all the photos from my first attempt here: Making Cheese | Brooklyntrout.com
The curd was a little less than firm and it produced a ton more whey when I broke it up, but so far it seems like I achieved some sort of cheese-like object.