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Any answer you'll get will be highly opinion-based. Also as the question is very open in this format I will focus on the ROS question, i.e.: If I can't program C++, nor program at all yet, is it wise to start with ROS.

Although I'd like to say "yes, ROS is easy" I must advise against that. ROS is built on top of C++. It uses some control-flow concepts, APIs, etc. that might not be straight-forward for beginners. If you want any help with ROS problems here, it is expected that you already know programming. In addition you will face the problem that you not only need to debug and understand your program, but the complete system and any issues you get from real-world data. In short: Start learning programming first and have fun with that, then see what small things you want to do with the robot.