It won't let me start out as a magician? What's up with that?
Didn't feel like spamming the forums..
you should be able to start out as either a warrior or magician. I've done it both ways, once on each server.
Your problem might be- You are trying to pick magician on the class preview page of the start character creation- where you enter your name. It is actually the next page where you pick your class.
As for picking non-squishy magicians-
pick up leadership for closed beta. The +10% health should be a great help for the low levels you'll be playing at. for the rest, it depends on your play style. Are you going to concentrate on taking out Multiple mobs with your AOE spells, or just kill things one on one? I've found that for one-on-one, it is actually faster for my magician to use a bow, and have some physical attacks at range, than it is to use a staff (despite a higher MAattack rating and class speed bonuses)