First off :welcome: and :twfrox: and so does the Fazer. If you want FZ6 information head to www.sportbikes.net
(no offense to TWF, but SBN has a huge FZ6 section) and go to the FZ6 Owners Group
and you will find about all the information you could ever desire.
But here is my :2cents: , I love the bike, it is so much fun but I have not ever ridden any other sportbikes so I have nothing to compare against. Let me try to answer your questions and go from there. I have no problem at all with clutch engagement, it is nice and smooth. However the gearbox is pretty clunky but synthetic oil and the correct chain tension helps this dramatically. Also typical Yamaha fasion the throttle is very touchy down low but once you get the hang of it you don't really notice.
As far as the ride, it's great. I am a commuter and weekend warrior and it fits the bill perfectly. It has absolutely no problem with grinding the pegs and keeping up. I ride two up quite often and it still balances very well. One thing I do wish it had was an adjustable front end since I am not the lightest cat around. However lots have changed out the front end with that of an R6 to help out, pretty easy swap from what I've read.
I would say it is an excellent bike for a beginner and one you won't grow out of quickly. Feel free to holler back with any questions and I'll do my best to answer them, I'm around here alot so I should be able to get back pretty quick.