Playstyle wise in games like this I've preferred to be a builder, good with research, diplomacy and money with the military taking a definite back seat. What civs would you recommend for me to try out?
I suspect that the race-specific tech trees are going to make that difficult. You'll struggle to excel in all three areas. The Terrans are probably your best bet at first because of the diplomacy. They also have a high influence, which is nice because the yellow techs provide bonuses to diplomacy, influence, and morale (which allows higher populations, and more influence). There's a certain satisfaction in watching the Big Blue Blob (tm) expand. There are quite a few yellow super projects and trade goods to build too.
You won't really excel at money or research though, because you'll be concentrating on the other parts of the tree. The first couple research buildings are cheap and your large population and liberal government provide decent taxes, so you'll be average or above average but not excellent.
If you can accept that, there are quite a few "builder race" options to try later. The Korx are evil and miserable. They start with all the trade technologies, but have severly limited options for increasing morale. Fortunately, the huge number of trade routes and trade bonuses let you get some income from trade to keep your tax rate low. It also raises your relations with everyone, which helps keep them off your back. Plus, since you start with the trade techs you have a lot of leeway in deciding where to focus your research.
In Civ a general building approach worked because of the tech tree. In Galciv2 research is a bit more focused, so your building will probably be more specific. It's also more interesting, because it requires concentration and sometimes painful sacrifices. The Torian, for example, can get massive populations but they come at a price. An empire of beings that breed and sit in pools all day is about as effective at everything else as you'd expect.