To clear up the Starter Set - it's aimed at DMs, so no PC creation in the box. But players will be able to make characters without it.This strikes me as a dreadful decision. Players want to create their own characters, not use one of five pre-made generic characters. When I first started out in this hobby, over three decades ago (!), character creation was a favourite way to pass the time. Also, it helped me to learn the rules.
More generally, the character creation process promotes a sense of investment in players' characters. And frankly, not including character creation rules makes the starter set look like a sales gimmick, not a real game.
Very disappointing, WotC.
UPDATE (22 May 2014) from this source:
Approx 15% of the D&D Player's Handbook will be free on WotC site to cover the basics of building characters for those getting Starter Sets.