Having been asked about gloves, here are some thoughts.....
Definitely wear them! I started developing unsightly callouses without and I have been assured by those more experienced at falling off that your hands often go down first so they're vital to protect you from road rash.
I used to own some Altura Synergy gloves. They have gel in the pressure points and make for a very comfy ride. Said gel did start to escape after a couple of months of every day wear but, having spoken to a couple of other people, it would appear that this happens with other gel gloves and for £17.99 a pair (less when they're on sale) I didn't worry too much about it and just replaced them.
My current short finger gloves are also Altura, but they're from the Gravity range. I can't find the ladies ones on Wiggle at the moment, but that's where I got them from, again on sale. They don't have gel padding but as I'm mainly on-road that works for me. I sweat a LOT, therefore I like gloves that can be cleaned without damaging them and I don't tend to spend a great deal on them on the basis that if they start to smell, I can get new ones.
For those who fancy smarty ones in leather or the like, Knog do nice ones available from Cyclechic. The Love Hate ones in red and white are my favourite. I dunno if they'd be great for sweaty commuting though as leather can get hot.
I'm not an Altura junkie as such (I own clothing and kit but various other brands) but these are the gloves that seem to suit me and I also own a pair of long-fingers from their brand. They are fleece with grip in convenient places. Again, because I get hot I need ones that can be washed and they allow air in so stay comfy as well as warm.
Hope this helps....