I would go for 3ds max Because Iv'e used it for 3 years now
And It kinda became my best friend in programs list .
The easiest would be propably Blender. (dont know why but it was about 2 tryies and on third one I got Pyramid Head)
I learned by reading wiki of 3ds max manual or blender manual...
Videos didnt help much as for what i was looking for I never found out except "how to create a barrel"
and "how to make human face"
Well I could make 3d models of rappers for san andreas because I listened to their music and was inspired by it....As for Pyramid Head....(He Was simply my favourite villain)
Well I just CTRL+Z and Do It AGAIN
It took me 3 days to make Pyramid Head the way I wanted it to be.
But for starters it would take a bit longer to get used to program , options , shortcuts etc....
3ds Max Needs a Open Collada Plugin
And it costs money....but Isohunt.com is my favourite website to go to.