Best class for a HC beginner?

Hardcore
I feel like venturing into the world of Hardcore, but I don't know what class to pick. Since I've never tried before, I defer to you the seasoned HC veterans for advice.
Not a seasoned vet, but I feel as if Barbarian is your best bet. Best defense, good offense. That is of course if you're playing by yourself. Having WoTB - Insanity just makes it so that no matter how slow you move, you will be able to overcome incoming challenges with adequate gear and minimal planning. Things can still go wrong, but Barbarian's have enough escape options and defense to make your mistakes more survivable.
WD is a solid choice, too. Never run a barb, though, so I can't really directly compare them.
I'm not seasoned, just a little spicy, but I'll offer my 2 cents.

Play whatever is most fun to level up since your character WILL die eventually. For me, WD is the most fun because I find almost all the builds easy to play around with, its a good farming character, and I'm head-over-heels in love with Jungle Fortitude.

If you find yourself too worried about dying, pick the character you know you are worst at and see how far you can make it. It gets those first time jitters out of the way and takes the pressure off living.

Happy hunting and welcome to HC
WD. You get a revive skill at level 30, an "oh !@#$ I need to get out of here" skill at level 16, and you get some pets in case you're not very good at kiting yet.

That said, any class will work just fine. I only suggest WD because it has some mechanics that are very friendly to inexperienced players.
#1 Witch Doctor
#2 Barbarian
#3 Monk
#4 the other classes

Another tip is to play a class you're familiar with already. So if the only class you've ever played is Wizard, then it might be a good idea to play HC as Wizard even though their skill set is not as tuned for HC as other classes are.
There's no best class, it all depends on the user. I would recommend the class you know the best and have had most success with.
not wizard!
A combo of Polaris and ZoMyGodPoop's advice is perfect. If you're good with one of the top 3, play that. If not, then WD or Barbarian are the hardest to kill, then monk, then the others die easily.
WD and barb from personal experience. monk is also a fine choice
whatever you enjoy playing ~
I would rate a monk pretty high. I've been successful with my monk and feel like she has great defensive capability.

Never tried wizard in HC, but I'm almost PL 30 in softcore and I would never attempt to play a wizard in HC unless I was trying to inflict a lot of psychological self-harm.
Really depends on your play style.

If you like to rush into the center of the mobs, then play barb, it is probably the safest.

If you like to stand back and cast spells, play WD. It is not as safe as barb, but the pets are really buff now.

If you want a melee class that also has great support skills (buffs and heals) then play a monk. Not quite as survivable nor as much dps as barb or wd, but it is pretty safe and the rest of your party benefits from your mantra and other skills.

If you like to live on the edge and do massive ranged dps, play a demon hunter or wizard. You will always be one hit away from dead, but the rush is great when you are just mowing everything down from a safe distance.
Wow, you're all fantastic ^^. I've decided to try my luck with a WD (a class I've had fun with before). Is it just me, or does a fresh male WD in the startup screen look like the undead you encounter at the very start of a game?
Hehehe- he looks like Red Fox's character off of the TV show 'Sanford and Son'.
With a touch of Parkinsons thrown in.

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