The above is good advice. From much experience and experimentation w/ pistols,
I would advise you to buy a used Glock G17
fullsize or G19 Compact, both in 9mm. The
subcompact are harder for beginners
to learn well on. These are easy to use,
extemely dependable, well made and accurate
pistols that you wont go wrong with. They
also have good resale.
You can buy these for $350 to $400 used and
in good condition.
There are other good brands and styles too,
most of which I've tried, and I feel this
would be a safe and very good choice.