I'm a newbie at Second Life, and I've been exploring for days now. I went to the Dresden Art Gallery located on first landmark you visit, and I must say, I liked it very much, especially how realistic the paintings are. Just learned that they went through years to build it, truly amazing!
After your exploring, somehow, you will need to buy things. Even uploading images could cost something. Someone I chatted with someone recently and told me how I would earn money, called Lindens, eventually be successful in Second Life. Then, I came about MetaRL. It's a website where you can earn Linden dollars by playing their games, joining contest, or surveys, and most importantly, referrals. Here, you will earn meta points and convert it to Lindens for Second Life. You can learn more by visiting their website: www.metarl.com
Don't forget to add me in your referrals! http://www.metarl.com/register.php?referral=metarljhun