"I have accounts at Scottrade and Firstrade. Neither has any inactivity fees, or hidden fees (as long as you receive electronic statements from Firstrade). If you are only looking at investing in stocks, I would say Scottrade is better since they have brick and mortar offices you can visit, and they seem to be a much larger company. Since you are new to investing, you may be more comfortable speaking with someone in person. The only downside on stock trading with Scottrade is that they do not offer dividend reinvestment.
If you think you may get into mutual funds as well, then Firstrade wins hands down, since Scottrade charges $17 for every mutual fund transaction, whereas Firstrade is free if you hold for 180 days. Both have similar costs for market and limit orders. Although, Firstrade does offer free dividend reinvestment.
Each broker is required, by law, to disclose all fees and charges on their websites, so you should be able to find that info linked somewhere on their main page.
Also, each broker offers ACH so you shouldn't have to worry about paying for a bank wire. "