Topic. I'm not really too concerned with getting max stats or the best gear and whatnot. I'd just like to play through the game and experience what it has to offer. So which class would be best for me (I've already ruled out mages)?
Berserkers are quite fun-warriors are probably better than mages in BG1, and Berserker Rage is very useful. A Paladin of any type is always a good bet too. :) (Blackguard and Inquisitor being the most powerful of the kits IMO)
Ehhh... the way the game is set up it's hard for ANY character to get through the game without min/maxing ridiculously and gear hunting. Consider that before you even hit level 2 you're expected to fight lvl 3 and 4 enemies with access to spells that can ruin your entire party in one round. That being said, a high HP fighter or Paladin isn't a bad idea, or possibly a high-strength cleric. Paladin levels slower, but you have a little bit of self-healing as well as the best offense/defense potential among fighters. Clerics can be built like brick walls if you play your cards right, but low attack bonuses and HP early on can be a hindrance.
"Guys? Can we rest? Until we do, I'm stuck as a silver dragon."
Look into Skalds. They are probably the most useful bard kit in BG1, possibly the game. Starting out the game with a buff that hits your entire party for +2 to hit and damage, as well as 2 AC is a fair bit of awesome. They get a +1 to weapons (so their melee isn't terrible but not blade level). They will get decent spells and better caster level than your mages for those tricky dispel situations. You even get pick pockets, though at a 1/4 of a normal bard. Isn't really a problem when you can just reload. I'm going to be playing a evil party with Dorn, Shar-Teel, Edwin, Viconia, and Kagain. All of them are easy to get early and with Shar-Teel as a fighter/Thief, Dorn and Kagain as meatshields I should have a solid front line. Edwin, Viconia, and the PC can just chill in the back and toss out some spells and buffs.
I agree with Inquisitor. An empowered dispel + true sight is amazing. That dispel magic will actually do something, unlike a mage's because their low level dispel rarely dispels anything at all.
Inquisitor might be one of the best classes for BG1.
Inquisitors are cool, but I played a Cavalier a while back with Tutu and loved it. In BG1 characters are so prone to running when their HP gets low that having a character with a built-in fear immunity that can also cast Remove Fear is incredibly convenient. Poison immunity and fire/acid resistance are also huge pluses in the first game.