I learned in notepad also... i've build a few sites with just notepad and a browser, but that was back when HTML 1 and 2 where around. Nowadays, you can't do anything cool without doing CSS, Java and all that stuff. These things are build into front page and it's pretty cheap compared to dream weaver and some of the other wysiwyg editors.
To build a web page today with just notepad would be a huge undertaking, especially for someone who is just getting into it.
I agree with Justin, FP has commands that are specific to IE and microsoft, but under Tools->page options->compatibility you can set FP to use only commands specific to whatever browser you want, or you can customize your command set. This helps when testing other browsers. Using IE commands only is very good for an Intranet where everyone has MS stuff, but on the internet, you have to use commands that work in all browsers.
In my opinion, FP is good for a beginner or someone who doesn't want to fool around with code and just get the job done, otherwise, i'd reccomend homesite.