Bill & Justin,
The high end boards of today tend to be more forgiving and easier to ride by beginners than the pro models from a few years ago. However, I think that there is some merit in buying a beginner board for beginner riders. The properties that advanced riders might look for in a board (sharp edges for a stronger edge into the wake for example) may be a hinderance for a beginner working on surface spins and basic wake jumps. A board with rounder edges will tend to be more forgiving and less likely to "catch an edge" when a beginner executes a move with less than perfect technique.
While newer boards are certainly designed to be easier (more forgiving) to ride than older boards (ever try to ride a skurfer!?), buying a parks board does not mean that you will ride like parks!
I guess it is just my experience that beginner riders progress faster and with less frustration on a board more suited to their skill level. (and its easier on their wallets!)