In going through the training, I'm starting with the default GeneratePress theme, and it just has the posts on it. How do I get the "home page" look and feel that I see in the theme preview? Also, what suggestions do you have for other themes that may be better?

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Orvell1 Premium
AGellert, there's a guide to how to fix your exact problem plus additional themes you might like in a link I added below
MElumir Premium
There are thousands of themes you can use, I'm using branding on my other website and on the other website I'm using another theme.

Anyway, you can change it anytime if you don't want the present theme you use.

The Homepage is a default message and editable. you can change it the way you want it.
Orvell1 Premium
you may consider the theme builder tool in your dashboard menu

also, this post may be exactly what you need:
AGellert Premium
Thanks so much! Very helpful!