Yeah, I'm not a complete noob to SRPGs but sounded like this was incredibly deep and you have to spend a lot of time knowing stats, etc, to do well. That has me a bit scared off. So I'd like hear from others on this as well.
Disgaea is surprisingly friendly, imo. It just has a ton of depth - the game essentially takes the concept of grinding and 'gamifies' it completely. The easiest example are the item dungeons -- say you find a Sword. Want to upgrade it? Easy, just enter the sword's 'item dungeon', which is level after level after level of procedurally generated dungeon. Keep doing that til it kicks your ass, and when you leave your weapon will reflect your progress. Oh, on the way you may have rescued inhabitants you can then further customize the weapon with, because why not?
Combat is on one hand fairly traditional SRPG fair - grid based combat, every spell and attack might have a different range/aoe/etc. But then there are also colored blocks on the ground that have different affects, and you can chain them for mass damage and beat many levels using only those [in fact, I'd argue it's the best way to beat many levels].
Then the story... which is actually pretty simple and straightforward. The depth and craziness is all on the side.
That said, if you're a beginner to SRPGs and want a starter SRPG, Jeanne D'arc on the psp is perfect. Actually, God Wars on vita is a good way to start too if you want trophies, etc.