Gaax: Just out of curiosity, since you say you’re flubbing 1/15 fireballs you throw…maybe you’re not necessarily botching the motion, but if you’re in full fireball mode maybe you’re sometimes trying to throw the next one a bit too soon? (As in, you try to throw another one before the first one has fully despawned from hit/block/flying offscreen and you get a punch instead?)
Here is where a bit more information would be helpful, most specifically, what moves are coming out INSTEAD when you mess up a fireball? Under what circumstances are you trying to do these fireballs? Mid-combo? Just spamming them at range to zone? If you’re in practice mode, what does the input display say when you mess up? (Turn it on, it’s very helpful, especially if you’re trying to learn more advanced buffering tricks.)
As for characters with low execution barriers…if you can wrap your brain around managing charge (some new players struggle with this, others do a lot better), many charge characters are easy to play on a technical level. However, many of these characters play much different from Ryu or Ken on a strategic level. Their advanced combos may (key word “may”, your preference/skillset may change as your play improves) be easier to execute under pressure, but their offense, defense, and range management may be a lot harder to properly apply than the basic Ryu/Ken pattern.
The most basic charge characters would probably be Bison, Balrog, and Blanka. Bison and Blanka are kind of two sides of the same coin; Bison generally has a wider array of combos with a more linear offense (he can pressure well with his +0-on-block LK Knee Press, but option select throw tech tends to hurt his c. LK/throw options afterwards, which makes him have to rely heavily on baiting) an inferior defense (his reversals aren’t terrible, but he loses his best one [teleport] in the corner and his EX reversals are all very punishable if predicted), whereas Blanka has very little for combos but with a more devious mixup (he gets a lot of mileage out of air and ground crossups to set up throws, which in turn set up his Ultra) and a generally more reliable defense (with upball and electricity).
Balrog is especially rewarding because he tends to reward good play even at the novice level. You can start by learning his very basic (optional jump-in), c. LP, c. LP, c. LK xx Headbutt -> (Ultra if you’ve got it) juggles and his very rewarding tick throw setups and expand very easily to more advanced play including option selects and smart use of EX rush punches and Turn Punch to defeat zoning. He’s also a character you can afford to sit on charge with longer than characters like Bison and Blanka, who frequently need to abandon charge to get to a better position.
Chun-Li and Guile have the advantage of fireballs, but both require a fairly advanced grasp of zoning to do well with. This is especially true of Guile, who can zone well but has very poor comeback ability. Winning with Guile means not only turtling HARD but intelligently, because if an opponent gets one good combo on you off a predictable Sonic Boom, you’re gonna have to work pretty hard to get that life lead back. (This is especially true in matchups like Guile vs. Sagat. Guile can maintain equilibrium in a fireball war pretty well provided you can charge well, but as soon as that equilibrium is broken by, say, a Sagat combo or a couple EX Tiger Shot hits, Guile can no longer win simply by stalling, and he has to work a lot harder to break a stalemate than Sagat or Ryu.)
Honda is fairly easy to play on a technical level, but like in most games he’s in, he’s very much a character of extremes. Turtling against low-health close-range characters like Fuerte and especially Viper is very strong, as Honda has gigantic single-hit damage, fairly good reversals, and a lot of health to sit on. All he has to do is wait for his opponent to come in, smack them once, and then watch with glee as they get more and more reckless/desperate trying to regain lost momentum. On the other hand, Honda is extremely vulnerable to fireball zoning. Honda’s huge single-hit damage doesn’t help him as much here because due to his weighty jump, a fireball character who takes a hit from Honda can make that damage up very quickly from a safe distance away from Honda (whether Honda accidentally jumps onto fireballs or into uppercuts or just has to sit and block Tiger Shot after Tiger Shot).
So the short version is, a low execution barrier isn’t the whole story. Don’t just look for a character you can consistently do moves and combos with (although that’s certainly important) – look for a character whose general strategy, strengths and weaknesses you can understand and deal with. If you’re going to play, say, Honda, you’re going to have to understand that you’re going to have a lot of trouble with fireballs, but you can offset that with strong turtling ability and generally good matchups against a lot of the cast WITHOUT fireballs. You have to feel like with practice, you could make this character work better for you than any (or most) others. This much you pretty much have to play the game (both practice and matches) to understand.