The only thing you will gain from a demo account are experience and confidence.Without demo account traders can not gather knowledge of real market trading. Of course you can take part in forex contest and competitions (with demo account) and get real money prizes and bonuses for live trading.
I agree with you guys,trading system and strategies are the most important aspect of trading.You should develop your own strategies for every possible market situation if you want to be a successful trader.
Using fixed spread to trade is cost effective,especially when you are trading in volatile market conditions.Maybe fixed spreads provide a more predictable trading environment for a beginner, but i believe variable spread accounts offer to traders better value for money.However, it depends on...
I would recommend to you to trade with a demo account.You can get some trading experience from it.Also forums are great source to learn forex. But i believe experience is the best teacher.
cTrader is a good choice for newbies.It's easy to start practicing using that platform.