I disagree with some posters here who think that digital piano equals or betters an acoustic one. And I own a digital piano, and currently don't have an acoustic one, even though I always had one (right now I own a synthesizer with fully weighted keyboard that serves both as a digital piano and as a synthesizer - Kurzweil).
Bad acoustic pianos should be avoided and cannot be compared to anything - they are simply bad, and not to be used. Good pianos are usually not more than 10-20 years old and have been kept at room temperature without kids jumping on them; these days really good used pianos can be had for about 2000-3000 USD; if you are lucky you may find an older used one, for around a grand. Best ones are from reputable manufacturers such as Yamaha. Those acoustic pianos will better any digital one in every area - from sound quality to feel and everything in between.
It is best for a beginner to start learning on a real piano. That way they will develop the proper feel for the keyboard and piano. The variety of sounds that can be produced from a real piano cannot be rivalled by a digital piano, although few have come very close (which is most likely outside of reach of most beginners - it would entail a few GB of samples and so on). The problem of achieving good quality sound from a digital piano is not only in samples used but also in the keyboard itself: acoustic piano's keyboard is a very complex mechanism that evolved over few centuries to provide us with what we have today. Digital piano keyboard is just an on/off switch with many values in between - nothing fancy there. Some may have "after-touch" feature, but that is useless for a piano student.
Over time, a beginner should develop their own preferences for a piano. Glen Gould took his father with him to every concert as he had a very strict idea about how a piano should be tuned and adjusted. He even used an unusual chair with backrest (due to his back problems). Digital piano has none of that freedom. Heck, one cannot even choose the type of tuning for a digital piano!
Personally I prefer slightly shallower keyboard, and I absolutely hate a deep one which does not allow me to play fast passages well (my fingers feel like they are getting stuck in there). I also prefer a lighter keyboard that does not force me to "work too hard" (if you have ever been to Disneyland, those guys that are playing honky-tonk piano on the street have their keyboards adjusted to be super light, in order to prevent them from developing repetitive stress injury).
Hopefully a beginner will be exposed to different acoustic pianos, not only few digital ones which all have the same feel more or less, and with time will develop their own preferences.
As for neighbors and "noise" coming from practicing piano, that is the price of art. Paints stink and require natural light, sculpture requires expensive materials, and lots of room and are messy and often noisy, singing is even louder, and pianos require tollerant neighbors or living in a house where very few people can hear you.
Beginners typically do not practice more than an hour or two per day. So "noise" (if we can call it that) should not be a big deal I think.