3.) Or is there a good inexpensive place to buy icons??? And which icons would one recommend for a beginnger???
I'll let someone else touch on your first two questions, but as for this one, many parishes have a small bookstore that sells icons among other items. That's a good place to start. If that option's not available or you can't find the one you're looking for, try www.skete.com
. It's a monastery in Wisconsin that makes mounted icons; they're actually the main supplier for my parish's bookstore. If you want very nice ones, you can commission someone to write them for you or do them yourself after you learn how, but the mounted ones are fine for starting out.
As for what to put there, you can never go wrong with the Lord and the Theotokos first. From there, perhaps your patron saint and any other saints you have a special reverence for. Others may simply strike you as needing to be there, even if you don't know why. I was visiting a monastery once and in their small store saw an icon I had to have, though I didn't know why. I went ahead and bought it, not knowing who it was, to later find out it was a martyr, for whom I have a strange affinity (maybe because my patron was a martyr). Sometimes you don't choose the icon; it chooses you! I also keep my bible and prayer book on a shelf by my corner and some people keep vigil lamps and censers there, as well.