The ordinary step by step server creation seems a little too confusing to new players and such. I think that there should be an option to create a server on the very main menu when you start up Minecraft. Once you click it, it leads you to a download link which it downloads what's necessary, but it also completes things such as port forwarding and other tedious tasks. Once done, the main menu will then switch out the "create server" button for an "edit server" button, which can lead you to an options menu for the description, icon, server name, and permissions.
If you go to multiplayer, not only would you see your server, but also see an activate/deactivate server button. When you click "activate server", it launches the things it downloaded earlier, then once refreshed, the server is online and ready to use.
Not only would this be a whole lot simpler, but many more users would start playing with friends and possibly recommending friends to buy Minecraft and join their server, new or not. I think that when this change is done, Minecraft would be full of happy players playing with their friends.