Congratulations for your first laptop.
1) There is no specific angle for watching the laptop screen and you can sit as per your convenience. Since laptops are designed keeping users' comforts in mind, personally I don't think there should be a 'disciplined' way to use the device. You can adjust the brightness of the screen as per your comforts from Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options if you really think it is extremely bright.
2) You can adjust your screen resolution as per your convenience and comforts. Higher resolution is mostly preferred when playing high-end games with high graphics. If you are not comfortable with the current screen resolution, try decreasing it and make it 1280 x 768 or 1024 x 768. Make sure you use 768 and not 720 if your laptop has widescreen (which I am sure it has).
Hope I was of some help.