Ditto everything neko said. Freshops has a good guide
on their site that I'd recommend reading. It has some good info and will answer a lot of basic questions.
I've had some varieties produce in the first year but that was usually with a "jumbo" sized rhizome, but I wouldn't count on any until the second year.
As for varieties, look at some IPA recipes you've brewed or want to brew and see what they call for. Find out which ones will grown well in your area (e.g. some do better in cool/wet regions, some in warm/dry regions) then buy those. The first year I bought some I just went to my LHBS and bought what they had on hand, but you'll be better off if you do some research and planning.
Maintanence-wise, they're generally pretty low maintanence; give them water, some fertilizer, and a decent amount of light and they usually grow like weeds.