DnDOG went down while I was typing a post so here it goes until the boards come back:
Sakure's latest edit reminded me of something I sent via PM but forgot to add to this thread:
You can choose a background benefit for your character. If you have the Character Builder, any of the Forgotten Realms or Scales of War backgrounds are fine (they all have concrete benefits compared to the General and Eberron ones). If you do not have access to the Character Builder, most of them either add two skills to your class skill list (you are [b]not[/b] automatically trained in them; they are simply available as one of your skill choices) and give you +1 to each skill, or add a single skill to your class skill list (again, not trained) and give you +3 to that skill.