I think that you should go high intensity for 5 reps and 5 sets with big muscle groups with free weights. Why would you need muscle endurance or high tolerance for Lactic acid in your everyday life? The problem with doing exercises with free weights and high intensity is that you could easily injury yourself. But if you start with low weights so you get the correct technique you will be fine. You just have to increase the weights every time. There is a website called stronglifts.com that I can recommend for his basic training program. It focus on high intensity. If you become a member he will send you an email everyday (with about the same message so I have unsubsribed now) His training routines includes only few exercies like, Deadlift, Benchpress, Squats, Rowing all with free weights. Here is a video of the routines.
There is a discussion here about the best exercises for life. I agree with this answer about strength: