I have to say, the basic avatars have come a long way since I started in Second Life. Do you remember the female avatar with the purple shirt and jeans? Yeah, she is what you started with before today's intro avatar. But I heard that today's Library folder actually contains some nicer things, so I went poking around. The usual Noob avatar today wears a basic pink polka dot dress, but once you log into Second Life there are several other starter avatars and outfits. Most of the starter avatars are pretty basic, though interestingly they have added a non-human one from Grendel's Children. But there are some outfits and accesssories in there that are more promising ...
I found some very respectable skins and clothes in the Library. There are still a couple of pretty ugly skins in there, but a few nicer ones too. I found three nice pairs of boots like this one, and I found the leather jacket in red as well as in black. I ran across a decent purse too. The hair was not what I would call top rack, but still a cut above what you typically find at a freebie place, and infinitely better that system hair. Remember system hair? Yeesh.
I think that whoever made the decision what to include in the Library did a pretty good job of balancing the needs of the Noobs against those of the Designers (who ultimately pay the rent around here). Looking back I think I might have been more willing to spend money on nicer clothing if I had even been aware of the higher quality of goods available. I was not aware of the existence of fashion blogs or feeds and I didn't know where to go for the good stuff. The Library contains enough nice things to whet your appetite for something better, but mostly does not give such nice things that people don't need to spend money anymore. For example, there are a few fairly nice skins, but they have a built-in body suit that will show under midriff-baring or lowcut fashions, and rule out "romantic" activities. There are decent jeans included, but they are only on the Underwear Layer, not the Pants Layer. The nicest purse I found does not contain a holding animation. Still, a good place to start.
Skin: Female Party Skin
Hair: Female Rocker Hair
Jacket: Female Rocker Jacket
Shirt: Female Rocker Tank
Pants: Female Designer Capri Pants
Boots: Female Goth Boots
Glasses: Sunglasses 1
Noob Photo: makeuseof.com (the only decent one I could find!)