My personal favorite resource is HeadsUpRC.com. This is a small hobby shop out of Florida that sells online. I email Jeff with what I have, what kind of performance I desire and he sends me recommendations within a couple of hours. They usually ship your order the day you place it, often within an hour. Prices are competitive with other suppliers. Shipping is flat $2 on packages under a certain size. I think entire airplane kits would be more. Customer service is top notch. Drawback for many-they only ship within the US, to my best knowledge.
I'm also very new to electric flight. A good quality ESC also helps. This is a video of my son's Phoenix 2000 from Hobby King. The ESC failed during flight cutting power to the Receiver. I was lucky to get control back before it hit the deck.