Question 1: Am I going to be fighting the IDE if I use the Arduino IDE 2.0 (beta) or will it be somewhat smooth sailing after watching a couple of YouTube Tutorials?
I don't recommend Arduino IDE 2.0 beta for beginners. The reason is that this application is currently in its beta development phase. Some of the features of the classic Arduino IDE have not yet been added. Some of the features are not quite working right yet. Some of the features are working perfectly, but their UI is still a little bit difficult to use. Some of the new features don't have documentation yet.
Using the classic Arduino IDE (1.8.13 currently) will give you a smoother experience so you can focus more of your attention on learning and having fun and progressing with your projects and less time stumbling over rough spots in the IDE. You'll also find that a huge amount of information is available to answer any question or problem you could possibly have with the classic Arduino IDE, whereas the Arduino IDE 2.x has not been out long enough for this to build up so much.
However, you are of course welcome to give it a try if you're curious. Arduino IDE 2.x was specifically designed to use the same user interface as the classic Arduino IDE it will eventually replace. When that time comes, I think it will provide a beginner friendly experience close to what the classic Arduino IDE has done.
Question 2: Can the Arduino IDE 2.0 (beta) also compile and load code on the ESP32 boards?