I really recommend you become familiar with FCP7 before jumping in to smoothcam editing. Using .mov files is fine.
Smoothcam basically analyzes the video for jumpiness and crops the video frame. I don't know why that would cause some kind of delay during playback.
To find your playback settings, go to the Sequence area and on the left under the 'Sequence 1' tab is a button 'RT'.
Click on there and you should see either Safe RT (realtime) or RT checked. Also try the different quality settings for video playback.
What about your mac? What is the spec? Ram, processor, available disc space? The issue sounds like it may be connected to your Mac rather than FC.
It is a big jump to learn video without any experience or knowledge and jump straight into Final Cut. Normally people start with iMovie. It might be a good idea to start there first and then learn Final Cut when you feel more comfortable working with video.
I do recommend the Final Cut 101 training:
It is a very good title.
Whether you decide to purchase and view the tutorial I would recommend spending some time reading the manual if possible and starting with some of the simple core concepts of video.
Do feel free to post back with any further questions.