Allow me to put in a vote for the other side.
I don't see any reason to go the VirtualBox route. I understand the theory - that it is "download this - do that - boom!" - but I don't think it gains anything. The point is, you still have to download, install, configure VB itself. Personally, I've never used VB (used VMWare a lot, instead), so I wasn't keen on the idea of going the distance with a brand new virtualization software.
Further, it (obviously) adds another layer of complexity and resource use. If you are running on a resource-constrained machine (in today's lingo, "resource-constrained" means anything less than 4Gb RAM and/or less than dual-core 4GHz CPU), then obviously you may not want to endure the pain of emulator-within-emulator.
So, I recommend the "Run QEMU directly under Windows" approach. As I noted in another thread, if I can get it to work, it can't be that hard. Someone has already mentioned the "small bulb" URL that contains most of the info you need (everything except the networking). To the newbie, I say "Get it working without networking (-net none), then come back here for info on getting the networking working."
Finally, note that there are 3 (that I can think of) theoretical disadvantages to running QEMU under Windows, vs. running it under Linux. They are listed below, but I don't think any of them stand up to analysis as a real problem.
1) Networking doesn't work (natively). This is easily worked around by installing and using the TAP device for networking. Once you figure it out, there is no disadvantage to going this route.
2) The "-vnc" option doesn't work. But there's no need for this, since the graphics (the X GUI) is displayed natively on your Windows desktop.
3) The lack of the Linux development environment - for compiling your own kernel. But of course, the "complete newbie" (referenced upthread) isn't going to be compiling any kernels anyway, so this is a non-starter.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.
(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)