I have been wanting to use LaTeX for a long time, but have been unable to navigate the tangled web of installation procedures, which seem generally to be geared toward UNIX users. Likewise, many of the compilers themselves seem to require an understanding of UNIX. Finally, though, I have found TeXnicCenter, where there is an essentially one-click download and installation, and what you get out of the process are two good Windows editors and compilers that can be set to give you PDF previews. The TeXnicCenter editor itself has many bells and whistles, most of which I do not understand, but is very useful if you prefer to click icons rather than remembering LaTeX commands. The other editor, TeXworks, which comes packaged with one of the components bundled with TeXnicCenter, is much more streamlined, has better font options, and is generally more useful once one has mastered the language.
Oh, and yes, it's all freeware, like most of the software I use.