Personally, I must admit Eve has had a major overhaul in the past 2 expansions since I started playing 2 years ago when the new graphics just came out (might have been earlier than that, I forget how long ago it was).
I really admire CCCP and their updates to the game, and you can see the latest changes in this article.
The aformentioned article is the only reason I went and picked up the 14 day trial, it's more player-friendly for newbies like me, and we get some nice features such as faster skill training until X amount of skill points, a nice epic mission arc to get us on our way (which I just completed today) - very hard mission arc in the last 2 missions, and I managed to get about 10 - 15 million ISK from it, more if I salvaged. So it is by far a great starter mission, and the tutorials are morei n your face, so newbies will learn what to do when an event happens, and the tutorials also give skill books and such.
I also like how they point you to 3 different ages, 1 for combat, one for industry and 1 for mining, each have their own rewards, the industry one gives you a Navitas if you're Gallente and 2 mining lasers, as well as a Iteron, to get you out into the world of Industry in Eve. The combat one points you to the Epic Mission Arc and also has it's own rewards, a nice frigate for us Gallenteans as well as some other stuff.
I have yet to try the mining one as it doesn't interest me all that much, but I will be trying it out just to see what rewards I get.
All in all, if you're new, give it a shot, though I can't comment on the community, it's a mixed bunch and sometimes questions go unanswered, and the guides can be a bit daunting for new players as it's a heavy read, but once you get the hang of it, you're set. And to be honest, you have a long road of skills to go before you get half decent, so it will be appealing for Industry related characters, as industry remains pretty much the same as far as I know.
I myself am going for a jack of all trades route.