Corona SDK is still a great way to get into games development. It is completely free and very powerful. I would also venture to say that it is capable of producing almost any type of 2D games and there are already some very successful examples out there.
Levelhelper is a great tool that will help you layout scenes and levels. It also has the ability to produce sprite sheets and all kind of animations and physics simulations.
Here is part 3 of my beginner tutorial series.