Lords of Waterdeep is about as simple and basic as Workerplacement gets, its great for beginners in my opinion. Simple in a good way. Place dudes, get ressources, spend them for points, done.
Puzzle Strike is on its way here, I kinda went a little crazy and bought the whole Sirlin-Package for...well, a lot of Dollars. You simply cant get any of that over here any other way.
Concerning dice games, I think my favorite is still the Godfather game. Dont know if you can get it in the states, it's being published by Kosmos over here. Great Dice-Placement game with a bit of backstabbing too. It's rather quick and a lot of fun