I wouldn't really agree with that. I believe pygmy's are worse than copperheads...Can't go wrong starting with a pygmy rattlesnake, any pygmy variety will do. So if you make a mistake you'll live without having to admit to anyone you got bit.
The embarassment of admitting you got bit is usually worse than the bite itself.
I wanted to start with my first venomous snake towards the middle of summer. I wanted one that stays relatively small (3' max). I'll take any suggestions you might give me.