DPNs are nothing to be afraid of! Just remember that when using four, even five needles in a project, you’re only knitting with TWO. The rest are stitch holders, to be ignored until you come to that point in the round.
If you are brand spanking new to knitting, I would recommend a simple tube-sock style pattern. Ribbed for a bit, but mostly stockinette for the rest of it. Most guys I know will wear tube socks.
The book Folk Socks has some great beginner patterns, but I’ve yet to see a man wear an ankle crew sock. Knitting.about.com has a couple of free basic sock patterns that would be good for a first effort. The basic sock uses Wool Ease and #7 dpns for the man’s sock - that’s a good size for beginners, you’ll be able to see what you’re about throughout the heel construction. Knit in one color yarn for the first project though. You can always experiment once you get the mechanics down.
Good luck! Post pics!