If you're new to the game then vitality and endurance are going to be important because they'll directly help you to survive while you're learning. I'd also recommend upgrading both your strength and dexterity to at least 12-14 so you can start experimenting with different weapons. The chainmail is definitely going to defend you better than your starting gear, but it's also going to slow you down some because it's heavier. For a new player I'd say going for the extra defense is probably a better move. Make sure you buy all the boxes from the merchants you run into early. That means the Bottomless Box, and both Smithing Boxes. They're all infinitely useful items. The Undead Merchant, whose the one that sells the chainmail armor, sells a lot of useful equipment too. The Heater Shield is probably going to be better than whatever shield you're using now, and the Reinforced Club, Scimitar, Rapier, and Short Bow are all good buys for the beginning of the game. They'll introduce you to how different weapon types work before you start getting more powerful stuff.
^ Don't listen to that armor advice. Yes, the chainmail probably isn't worth upgrading at this point, but the added defense it's going to give you for it's cheap price is absolutely worth it. As a new player, anything that can help you to better stay alive while you're learning is a good choice. That includes higher health and higher defense.
Last edited by PlasticandRage on Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total