Culty has been ever so kind as to put together a neat little Beginner's Guide for the Monster Hunter series. It was written and designed by the hosts of the "My Fair Hunter Podcast," a fan podcast dedicated to the games. Since they are known for their wide breadth of system mechanics and deep combat, I would imagine that this guide will be a saving grace for new players.
There is a digital version that works with "any portable reading device" for $9, or a print version for $25. If you're curious as to the quality of the guide, perhaps the four-page preview will give you a good idea. It looks really well done, and the digital version is cheap enough to make me very tempted to pick it up, as I'm a bit rusty on my Monster Hunter knowledge considering I haven't played since the PS2 days.