Generally, set up should only be rolling up characters, which need not be repeated each session. The GM should already have a plot in mind.
I started with AD&D & Star Frontiers. Got into FASA Trek early, still the definitive basis of Trek for me. LUG/Decipher were okay, but not as interesting to me.
BTRC's Timelords is one of my faves, and the basis of my house system.
Other games include Traveller, 2300, World of Darkness, GURPS, Scion, SW d6, SW d20, Runequest, Morrow Project, Twilight 2000, Gamma World, Warp World, Cyberpunk, Worlds Beyond... well, too many.
If you don't have a group, look on the meetup sites for your city. Skype old players - but this really only works if everyone skypes in on a headset. A skype player or two in an otherwise F2F group can be difficult to hear.