I am new to wood turning and have been practicing beads and coves on plain pine 2x2's. Then a neighbor trimmed up a big holly tree. That was a lot more fun to turn but it sure did split as it dried. So taking that as a learning experience and to the delight of my wife, I cut down a small and very dead maple in the back yard. That maple was solid and hard. Another friend gave me a hunk of wood he had trimmed that was about 6" x 36". It weighed about as much as a hunk of iron and was about as hard to cut. I think it might have been chestnut by the look of the wood and the presence of worms.
Then manna from heaven. A hickory tree fell in the back yard and I have enough wood for ten years of turning - as long as it can be made from hickory. But I wanted to try other woods so I bought a box of blanks (all untagged) and turning them was a real delight but I have no idea what most were. I know that at least one was yew.
So my question: What would be a fun wood for someone just starting to turn? Ideally, it should be very forgiving and produce a nice finish and be not too expensive.
Any suggestions? And where is a good place to get the wood?