I have a Client who uses Sage One and I find it quite user friendly and was surprised given Sage 50 isnt so. However, I have also used VT transaction and think thats great for desktop software and a great price.
I think you are right to go down the path of using the Cloud- I think we will all have to use some sort of cloud functionality in the future given MTD etc. For me the best advantage is that my clients and I can look at their accounts and discuss things remotely, they can run reports as and when they want and I've found it gets them more involved as they can see whats going on. Makes life a bit more flexible.
I use Xero also- which is also very good, I'd check out a few Cloud options before you decide- most of them run free trials so you can have a play. Clearbooks is another to look at- seems quite good, not such a fan of Quickbooks though- just doesnt click with me but many love it.
I've been going part time for about 18 months and have just taken the plunge fully in March this year- I've seen your posts about starting up so may join you on the FB page if thats ok?