As far as wanting to be different, tread carefully here, if it's going to be an IDPA, USPSA, SC gun. Do your homework. There's a reason why some guns are popular, and some aren't. I see very few HiPowers at IDPA/USPSA matches, for example. Likely due to the mag disconnect.
A .22 isn't a bad idea, but you can't shoot IDPA or USPSA with a .22LR. You can shoot rimfire steel, of course, and it will teach you a lot about shooting quickly and accurately. Numerous .22 conversion kits are available for some semi autos, so you could, for instance, buy a Glock17 and a conversion kit and have all your bases covered.
Wanna really be different while really mastering the fundamentals? Buy a revolver. A 4" Ruger GP100 or a standard 6-shot 4" K- or L-frame S&W .38 or .357. If it's to be a .22LR, then look for a 10-shot S&W 617. IMO, there's a lot to be said for starting in competition with a revolver.