What wallet / e-wallet is the most convenient for new casual Bitcoin users?

I’d like to make small payments for business purposes through Bitcoin, so would like to know what the easiest method of getting setup to accept a Bitcoin payment is for a regular person, so that I can recommend it to those I want to pay.

Some options I see are:

  • Standard Bitcoin client

  • BitcoinJ

  • Instawallet

  • Flexcoin

These people will only be holding a few Bitcoin at most in their wallet, so security is not as high a priority as in other cases, but I would still like to avoid a Mybitcoin type fiasco where every one I pay loses their money.

Which method has the best combination of convenience in getting setup and security?

What happens to my bitcoins if lose my wallet file e.g. I suffer data loss and my computer is unrecoverable?

You run bitcoin as a service on your local computer. What happens if this computer is compromised? A corrupt/failed hard drive or theft leads to the machine being lost and unrecoverable, and my bitcoin details (addresses etc) are gone. Do my bitcoins disappear into the ether?

i.e. What happens to my bitcoins if my wallet file is compromised/lost?

How do you obtain bitcoins?

This is a question many people ask when they’re introduced to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin sounds interesting, but if I want to use this system I will need to get some coins, otherwise, there’s no way I can spend them! How can I start?

Is Bitcoin future-proof?

As I understand things, the security and integrity of Bitcoin rely on the assumption that its hashing is “hard” in some sense. However, in the past, processing power has increased exponentially. This has made some problems solvable in a reasonable amount of time that were not solvable before. How does Bitcoin account for the possibility that processing power will continue to increase in the future?