I am currently working on this pattern and I think with a little care you could use both ends of a center pull ball just fine. The strands of yarn never cross while you are knitting (since each sock is knit with its own strant) only when you turn your work. So as long as you turn one way and then back the other way the next time (as opposed to the same way all of the time) the strands stay nicely seperated.
As far as this being a good first sock project, it depends on how comfortable you are with knitting in general. The pattern is written as “guidelines” not “step-by-step instructions” with stitch counts or how many inches to knit before the next part. So if you want detailed explanations, I would advise you try Silver’s class instead, but if you are a bit more adventurous go ahead and dive right in - I did.
BTW, the pattern calls for 24" needles which are probably a good length. I am using a 16" and 20" and finding them to be a bit short. The different lengths don’t bother me at all.