I would stay away from the recurve as they have less power, are harder to hold drawn and are more likely to wound.
Not to be argumentative, but what evidence do you have to support the claim that a recurve is less powerful and more likely to wound? 50 pounds is 50 pounds and a bad shot is a bad shot, regardless of the bow type.
While it is true that pound for pound they are they same, most recurves are in the 45# range, with a typical compound shooting 65-70# range. Also, due to the cams the acceleration is greater with the compound. Additionally, the compound will probably have 40% let off, enabling you to hold the draw steadier and longer, providing a cleaner shot.
I am all for the tradition and skill needed for a conventional bow, I just don’t think they are as good for beginners. But then again, it may make for more clean misses.[/quote]
You can get a stickbow in any weight that you want. You can kill any animal in the lower 48 with a 45-50 pound bow.
Bows today have let-offs in the 65-80% range. However, you still have to be able to pull it back and roll the cams over. The lack of let-off with a stickbow only becomes an issue when someone has a bow that is too heavy for them.
Speed has its advantage and disadvantages. All things equal, a faster shooting bow will give you a flatter trajectory, which minimizes/negates errors in yardage estimation. However, super-fast bows are generally difficult to shoot accurately, as any form flaw is magnified by the speed. Conversely, a relatively slow and long bow is more forgiving of form flaws. In short, you need to weigh trading speed for accuracy/forgiveness.
There are pros and cons to each type of bow. It all boils down to whether or not the OP is willing to put in the time necessary to become proficient with the bow that he chooses and if he is willing to limit himself to ethical shots. If he fails to do this, it does not matter what type of bow he chooses.