It's cool to see a thread about running on here. I would still call myself a beginner for sure, but I am coming up on a year of running. I started at 330lbs last spring. I am now down to 218lbs, and running somewhere between 20-25 miles a week. I'm still losing weight, and striving to become a better runner every run. Sticking with it is the biggest thing. If you can, you will start to love/hate running. I can't even explain how I felt when I crossed the finish line at the Dam to Dam 20k. I was slow (really slow actually), but I FINISHED IT. No walking, just finished it. You'll know what I mean when you finish a couple of races you never thought you would.
As for the shoes, ABSOLUTELY the most important thing you can buy IMO. From reading this thread, it seems as though Mattstick really knows his stuff, and gave you more professional advice than I could, but I can offer my own experience. I started running with an old pair of New Balances that were pretty beat up. Blisters followed, so I got some new inserts. That helped until the shoes fell apart, and I decided I was going to reward myself for 4 mos of running with shoes. I got on the Under Armour bandwagon, and bought the new shoes that they released without consulting any professionals, just because I was a sucker for the flash. What a dumb move. Blisters every day for six months until I couldn't stand it anymore and I went to a professional who could fit me (Scheels was fine). I bought a pair of Saucony Hurricane 10s. WOW. Turns out I have pretty flat feet, and over pronate a bit. The Under Armours were meant for high arches and no pronation! Running is a completely different experience for me now.
I'm interested to hear how you are progressing! We really should keep a running thread alive in here!