I got two things right in the very beginning with my strawberries. Raised bed and good soil. My soil initially started out as just enriched topsoil with a 3" layer of compost on top. Before the strawberry plants went in I had added another couple of layers of compost (about 2" each time) between my previous plantings of vegetables in the same bed. The thing that took me more time to figure out was the watering. Strawberries do not like to dry out. I was not watering enough. The soil in my beds drained well, which is very good, but that also meant it was drying out sooner then I thought below the surface. So my advice to you is, if you are not sure how often to water, keep a little trowel in the bed. Dig down a few inches and see how wet the soil is. This really lets you make adjustments to your watering schedule sooner then later.
I chose two varieties to start with. Ozark and Sequoia. Between the two, my favorite is Sequoia hands down. There are many factors that can contribute to why a plant does not do well, but for some reason the Sequoia plants flourished right away for me. (I mean after I figured out my watering schedule) They produced lots of medium to small strawberries. I never really had any pest problems and they were super sweet in flavor.
My strawberry plants have actually stuck around for almost two years now. I have done my best not to disturb the soil too much and kinda just let them do their thing! It has worked out so far!