If you're $200 or under, look at a Hi-Point C-9. They have a lifetime warranty, and it will be cheap and easy to shoot at the range. Its a brick though, so you likely won't want to conceal carry it. But for a car/truck gun, and a range gun, it works perfectly fine. I have one with a couple of thousand rounds through it, and I haven't had a single issue with it.
If you're over a $200 budget, I would look at a Glock in 9mm. I'd probably opt for a G19. Don't bother with .40 S&W. Its a snappy round, and if you don't shoot a lot, you might not enjoy the recoil. Steer clear of .45, because its really expensive to shoot, and if you're just getting into the sport more time at the range = better.
I would also suggest holding an XD, and an M&P, Ruger, and a SIG SP2022 before you just jump at a Glock though. They are all fairly comparable. You will likely never have a failure out of any of them.
I have a 9mm SP2022, and I love that it has a decocker. I actually replaced my Glock with the SIG. I like the features of the SIG better, but the glock is so simple to pull apart and clean that I sometimes miss it.
Last edited by catalyst; September 20th, 2013 at 06:26 AM.