Also, running lvl 4 missions with a Minmatar ship is pretty masochistic.
Really? I've yet to find anything that beats my Vargur for L4s. Selectable damage types helps a lot. Before I did Vargur, I flew a Mach. For like 2 years. I know those aren't starter ships, but they're Minnie (well, 1/2 minnie in case of mach).