I didn't begin reading manga until 2003 and the first manga I ever picked up were the first two volumes of Dragon Ball & Dragon Ball Z. In Japan, the whole manga is known as just Dragon Ball. Despite already knowing a good deal of the story because I'd already seen the anime, the manga was no less enjoyable. On the contrary. I feel like I was able to get a much better appreciation for Akira Toriyama's art since it was in comic form.
It took nearly 4 years, but in 2006, I'd finally had the DB and DBZ manga in it's combined 42 volume entirety. This week, I decided to start reading it all over from the beginning. I'm already on volume 3 of DB.
The 16 volumes of DB that I own are the smaller versions with red covers with the old VIZ logo. These particular versions are completely unedited. When VIZ thought they could market the manga to an even younger crowd, they began censoring the DB and DBZ manga, much to many fans dismay. The VIZ Big editions of DB and DBZ, which collect 3 volumes of each respective manga in one big book are also edited. The editing mostly consists of middle fingers turned to fists, nudity (Bulma), and some toned down violence. It's a shame, but if you're buying DB manga, I recommend picking up the VIZ Big versions. The manga is printed on bigger and better paper and the covers are slightly improved.
Who knows, maybe one day VIZ will go back to unedited manga like they do for the graphic novels of Bleach.