I opted for the default wizard level up route. I like that you can customise your character but I amn't familiar enough with the game yet to take that plunge.
At level two I can prepare four spells. After a bit of trial and error I have opted for a fairly eclectic mix:
Mage Armour: A buff which compensates somewhat for my light robes. With the extend metamagic toggle I can get about 16 minutes duration on this which is useful.
Summon Creature: This gives me my very own sidekick (a big dog) to harry my opponents and keep them occupied while I nuke them from a safe distance. Sometimes I bring Charm Person instead which allows me to convert one of the enemies into a helper but as this only works on humans it is less generally useful. The trick to using this is to make sure the dog is summoned before the battle as it is almost impossible to successfully complete this spell while being attacked.
Hypnotism: This is a very useful crowd control spell which hypnotises nearby enemies for a variable period. This can be a life saver. While it is sometimes resisted it usually works. Very useful if you need breathing space to perform a summon spell in mid battle.
Burning Hands: I try to pack at least one nuke and this was always one of my favourite spells in NWN. It works great in DDO too. A cone of fiery damage shoots from your hands to toast any enemies in its path. The fact that it is directional means that with careful positioning you can safely use it with crowd control as long as you point it away from the mezzed mobs.
I generally wield the beginner staff (haven't got a better one yet) which does a satisfying amount of damage per whack providing the mob isn't hitting back but I also have a handy fire wand which gives me a ranged attack that doesn't consume spell points.
In terms of stats I have chosen items to increase my hit point and spell point pools. I opted for an enhancement that boosts concentration because concentration increases your chance of completing a spell while under attack. I made one foolish choice spending two talent points to increase my intelligence from 18 to 19 forgetting that only even numbers have any impact on the modifiers.
One useful hint to remember is that the recovery shrines recharge after 15 minutes so if you do run out of spell points you can always find a safe place and wait out the timer.
The toughest part of the game so far for me was the journey through the countryside getting to the aqueduct. I suffered my only death to date because I stumbled into a large group of enemies without proper preparation. At least with the above combination of spells I have finally gotten the hang of "normal node" beginner missions. I am now tempted to have a go at a few hard modes to try for better loot. If all else fails I can rent a hireling - the price for level 1 hirelings is much less than I make from vendoring the loot from a mission.