Both dealers I mentioned offer beginners kits, including a basic strop etc. and they also check and hone each and every razor they sell, so that you KNOW it's shave ready when you receive it. I would contact your dealer of choice and discuss what they can do for you.
My personal view is that perhaps a paddle strop might be the best option when starting out. It's more difficult to roll the edge for a beginner on a paddle strop. (Note... I never followed my own advice when I started out)
Later it can be used as a pasted strop to maintain your razors, so they don't need to be honed as often. It will keep them going for some time, but it won't prevent the need for honing. But remember, once you paste a strop, you can never go back. The paste cannot be fully removed, so make sure you REALLY want to paste it. A barbers hone could also be used to maintain a razor, though I was never really happy with the edges from my two hones.
I'm keen on purchasing inexpensive, used, quality razors and bringing them back to life... Not as easy today, as it was even 10 years ago, as most offerings have been picked over on places such as Ebay. Still, it is possible to find a nice, inexpensive razor with no serious issues except for perhaps a bit of tarnish, at an antique shop or whatever it is you call them in the UK. My first razor was a mid 1900s Clauss razor, it was worn and tarnished but today it's still my most cherished razor, and it cost me less than $20 at the time. I learned to hone on it, I learned to strop on it, and it's my test razor for any new hones I obtain, as I know the razor so well. I have new razors that see far less use then my old Clauss.
I would strongly suggest, new or used, that you obtain at least 2 straight razors for your use to start. One is none and 2 is one. A razor goes dull, you strop it badly and roll the edge, you accidentally touch the fawcet while shaving and chip the edge.... Now you have a dull or damaged razor in need of honing... what will you shave with in the mean time? A sharp, inexpensive, used razor, will shave infinitely better than the razor you just sent out for honing and that won't be back for a week or two. <grin> If you do your own honing, like I do, it's in my nature at least, to have a dull pile and a sharp pile of razors... When a razor starts to tug a bit much, I toss in the "for honing" pile and select another one. I do have a rotation of sorts, but I select a razor based on my mood more than anything.
Vintage razors shave every bit as well as brand new ones, you won't be giving anything up other than the higher cost of a new razor.