Yeah i don't think fighter is the easiest anymore, as choosing the feats for a fighting style is no longer a trivial thing. Paladin is probably easier to both build and play, in general, as your main thing is always going to be retributive, and it's a bit harder to go wrong with feat selection there.
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Fighter has no extraneous factors that it relies on to do well from the start of the game. Yes as you get further into the builds you can do some wonderful combinations for them, but simply picking what works with your weapon will serve you plenty fine. In the meantime in actual play you aren't having to worry about when to rage, or hunt, or command your companion etc. Fighter just excels at using those base actions.
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I'll go the other way around.
Hard to build classes:
Hard to play:
Rogue (if you are a total newbie to the game)
Champion (if your party lacks cohesion)
Anything else is roughly easy. Just follow basic logic and you'll have an easy to play and efficient character.