Rather a late addition to this but I see a lot of people referring to 53/39 as racing sets and in fact they used to be so called, the definitive feature of these chainrings is that the diameter between the bolts is 130mm hence 130 BCD. The 'compact' has a diameter of 110mm or 110BCD.
130BCD has typical 53/39 set up; 110BCD 50/34 - but you can also get 50/36 or 50/39. I run a 50/39 110BCD compact on my Cervélo P2C Triathlon bike sometimes I change the rings to 51/39. On my road bike I run a 50/34 but then have an 11-23 cassette so the 34/23 is almost equivalent to a 36/35.
There is an awful lot of macho posting about chainrings and crank lengths and a lot of people simply have too high a gearing and wrong crank length. I run a 165 crank as I have diddy legs.
Most new riders - and many experienced - are best suited to a 110BCD compact. As mentioned a 50/11 is more readily achieved than a 53/11 and many riders will drop down a cog to a 53/12 which is actually a smaller gear in terms of gear inches than a 53/12.
With a 130BCD set up you will also find that there is a longer crank length on as standard, if the crank length is too long the seat height drops to accommodate the longer travel to the bottom of the stroke, at the top of the stroke the hip angle becomes compressed result in discomfort and less power.
So IMHO a 50/36 is ideal for most, 50/34 sweeps up everyone and 50/39 great for racing. So get the 50/34 110BDC Compact and get a 36 and 39 rings and you are rocking whatever the terrain.