For the noob with little or no mechanical experience, I don't think you need to go too far into the engine. I have 50+ years experience, and have yet had to split a case apart (except to take pictures for a breakdown tutorial).
But what I do coming out of the box is this...
Many people have mounted the engine out of the box, but I'd rather spend a little more time, and not have to be concerned down the road. The second engine I built was in 3/2009. I have yet put a wrench on it as of today since installed (maybe I'm just lucky ????). First, I didn't do the mods and it's in a box, not due to the manufacturer, but from a aftermarket head gasket that trashed the upper end.