I have an intuos, It's an update from my REALLY old Trust tablet i had. I've never used a bamboo but the specs look to be slightly similiar to intuos, bamboo has really good sensitivity, it has over 2000ibp (i believe thats what its called?) my very first tablet only had 500. But the intuos is good for hot keying, to be quite honest I only got it because of the touch ring because it speeds up brush sizing for me and i dont have to keep going back and forward to select a brush size. I'd say bamboo is perfect for starting off and Ive recommended it to many of my friends
But really, if you're a beginner, you're not going to feel the difference in most of that stuff and besides the express keys and touch ring, you don't really need something larger unless you really work in a lot of details.
Basically, the Intuos comes in 4 different sizes, 3 of which are larger than any Bamboo model. The small has 6 express keys and 4-function touch ring for custom controls; it has more precise pen reading accuracy and a higher pixel per second data rate; it has double the resolution; double pressure levels; and has a wireless option. The difference between the small and the other sizes is merely that it has 6 express keys while all the larger ones have 8, and obviously the larger ones have larger surface areas for drawing.