I beat my first C/I having played through on Normal to figure it all out, and I would say forget the OTS early on, and infact anything that isn't Uplinks and the power/engineers required for them. 4 Uplinks in a square cover 12 sats, you will still likely lose a few countries in the first few months, but once you have everything covered the masses of cash make everything else doable eventually, and you can hire and sacrifice rookies by the bucketful whilst training up a few officers and waiting for the good stuff to be researched.
Classic has two major speedbumps early on: the XCOM Council escort mission and the first terror mission. I've yet to make it through both without coming out totally shafted and unable to continue.
Facilities building order on Classic for me: power, satellite uplink, officer training ... never got any further.