Wow, this thread blew up. I also think it'd be neat to start out above first level. That said, what would be really cool, to me, would be to blow the doors off and start around tenth or higher. It seems like nobody ever does that, and I'd get a kick out of it.
Earthdawn is a game that fascinates me and I'd like to play it someday - but it's also fairly complicated, in comparison to most FRPGs, and I'm not sure I'd want to try chargen or teaching it to a new player online.
Further: I'm pretty sure D&D's online character generator only lets you level characters up to three or so, if you have the free version. I may be wrong.