Re: Bulba, Squrt or char?
"One solid answer" really doesn't cut it lol. Let's see why:
Bulbasaur(later Venusaur): Poison/Grass is actually nice typing, ever since the Special Split and slight nerfing of the Psychic type. He also learns a variety of nice moves, both status inflicting and offensive, which is quite nice so you don't have to use many TMs on him. Also, he has a nice tanking stat spread, making him good at both offense and defense. A good reliable Pokemon for anyone's team (and my personal favorite XD)
Charmander(later Charizard): While Fire/Flying is not great typing, and Fire is kind of nerfed as is, Fire is a fan favorite (and one of mine too =D) and Charizard is one of the dominant Fire-types. He doesn't learn a lot of moves, but gets decent coverage naturally with Metal Claw, Wing Attack, and his Fire-type moves. You'll probably need to throw a TM or two at him, but he's no slouch by any means. He has ridiculous Sp. Attack and Speed with respectable Attack, so he'll tear through a lot of enemy Pokemon you run across. You'll only run into problems with his defense, which shouldn't be a problem since he should be able to take down opposing Pokemon with just one or two hits as long as they don't resist his moves.
Squirtle (later Blastoise): Considered fairly crappy competitively, I find Blastoise to be a jewel in-game. He learns a wide variety of moves, has really nice, well-rounded stats making him able to take some hits and dish them out. He also can learn Surf, and is considered the easiest starter to beat the game with when doing a solo-starter Pokemon run. He has a good variety of moves for type coverage, and can learn Ice Beam, which is just baller against Lance when you reach the Elite Four.
So, as you can see, all three of the starters have their advantages and disadvantages, and they are all fairly equal in-game. Competitively is a somewhat different story, but that's not what you were asking about (I don't think). Really, you can't go wrong with any of these Pokemon for a starter, as long as you raise them well and don't have four moves of the same type lol.