Flash in general is a complicating step in learning photography. Why bother spending money on it if you're not sure if it's a usable option? My rule of thumb is that if you don't use it in the most basic high school photography class, you don't need it to start out.
Also, say the OP wants to photograph indoor... anything... with his f/3.5-5.6 lens in low light with an entry level body (perfectly fine to have this body) and the high ISO noise that comes with it?
This entry level body shares a sensor with both the 60D and 7D, and uses the same Digic IV for processing. The kit lens has a good implementation of IS, so shooting handheld indoors without a flash is really not going to be an issue. 3200 ISO from that sensor is perfectly acceptable for screen viewing, thus extending the usability of the kit lens.
Nikon is nice because you can use many of the older FX lenses. My kit includes 24/2, 35/1.8, 50/1.2, 85/1.8, 105/2.5, 55/3.5micro,75-150/3.5-4.5, 180/2.8 and other older lenses. I payed less than $100 for each. They are manual focus but damn sweet lenses. You cannot do this with Canon, sadly.
You can, but you need an FD to EF adapter. Problem is, there are next to zero good FD lenses that don't already have a better or similar EF implementation. The exceptions to that are still priced so far towards the top that it's not worth anyone's time. The exception to this, of course, is building a huge FD lens system for videography for practically nothing.
Disagree. There's a marked improvement in the T2i's sensor over the one in the T1i (I know first hand, that same sensor was also used in the 50D) in both ISO performance and dynamic range.
The T2i is the best dollar-for-body deal a beginner can find, with features that will become more usable as you improve.