I play on a lot of different sites, and although my poker might be scratchy I have a pretty good understanding for the "mechanics" of all of them. The first thing I do when I get onto a new site is find the cheapest of the following and buy in:
- Reg Cash Game - normally the $2NL table
- Zoom/Rush [Or variant] Cash Game
- SNG - $0.50 heads up if I can find it
- MTT - either a freeroll or perhaps a $0.10 turbo tournament or something.
All up I get a good feel for the whole site and different games I might be playing. With the cash games I test things like the notes facilities, how well I can multi-table, etc., and it's also good to get to know the dynamics of the Zoom style games. SNG/MTT's are also extremely helpful as it gets you used to finding all the little things you might want during any future tournament (prize pool, levels, stack sizes, etc.).
Just my 2c Good luck on the virtual felt