As great as the write up at the start of this string is, and that post really described a proper first inspection of a revolver, the real test of a new handgun is at the shooting range.
Anyone really new to shooting should join a shooting club before aquiring their first gun, where they can test fire a number of guns before shelling out the cash. Almost all folks I know who buy a gun first then join a shooting club and start participating, will almost always switch guns within a few months. Finding a piece that shoots naturally for you is no easy task.
Again, your first step is to sellect a shooting club with members you enjoy, and even that can take a while, every club seems to have a prevailing personality(?)... Some clubs are "militia" geared, to the extent of being military, some are arnchair "cop" styled, with home security being ever discussed, I always look for one with members that just really enjoy serious competitive shooting.
About the time your scores are high "sharpshooter" and beginning to intimidate the rated "experts", you will know what kind of a handgun really works best for you.