I JUST bought an 03 myself. I got a pretty good deal, but it needed quite a few things. However, I have been around motorcycles a while and can perform all of the work needed. Unless it's been extremely well maintained, a bike of this age is almost guaranteed to have some work required. I had no reservations picking up the 03 I did because I knew 1) I could do all of the work and 2) I had budgeted for the bike+parts and it was an extremely good deal.
All that to say for a very first bike, I would highly recommend you do some research and try to get an idea of the maintenance history of each bike you're looking at. Ask how old the tires are, chain and sprockets, brake pads, mileage since last valve adjustment, etc. A reliable bike is more fun when you're learning to ride.
But if you're mechanically adept and want to learn how to work on bikes and don't mind it being down for a week or more at a time, that's awesome, too.