I've been using questrade but I also use yahoo finance to check my quotes. I have the data plan with questrade and it seems to be fairly accurate from what I've noticed and seems to track the market very closely.
Are you planning to be a day trader? I don't think you need to worry much about the delays unless you're planning to be a day trader.
First of all, are you looking for stock quotes, options quotes or futures quotes.
I am only familiar with stock stock quotes and my threads here are much like a demo program that you find everywhere....except I use real data...for my fantasy (practice) portfolio's. I have had several practice portfolios in my investment lifetime, especially when I was first learning my approach to TA.
The only time you need less than 15 min delayed data is when you are daytrading or making a critical entry or exit decision. There are 2 charting services I would recommend that are free.
this is an excellent continuously updating charting service where you can vary your time interval and have multiple charts going at one time....say TD Bank [TD:TSX] 3min, 30min, 1hour and you can flip between then
you can do Canadian and American stocks with no problems and (what I like the best) you can create the chart you want and configure the indicators in non-standard ways....so you can try different things out to your hearts content.
The second website I would recommend is for REAL TIME charting and L2 quotes Level2StockQuotes.com
there are several tabs on this site but the one I use is this one for Canadian stocks which is what it is designed for by you can also do NYSE and NASD stocks as well
with this program you can follow up to 8 stocks charts in real time in the basic small blue charts, the bigger chart on the right is time delayed but the slightly smaller chart on the left is real time... you can modify the charts to some extent but the one on the left only uses standard settings.... one on the right can be configured anyway as you want.
That takes care of the monitoring of your practice stocks... as far as keeping track of your portfolio, purchases, transactions and value goes...I know you have followed my Canadian portfolio here and you see my midweek and end of week updates. It is a simple EXCEL spreadsheet that I keep..and I do it in real life portfolios as well (much bigger there but same principles
here is a link to the post I made where I attached a version that you might use
I don't understand the necessity of having a specific broker. If you take my advice as given you have no need for one, and you will learn a lot more in the process. When you decide to do it for real, that is the time to decide on a broker.