For light recoil.....and meeting your other criteria....I would say a Stoeger 8000 (Cougar). An all-metal gun (32 oz.for the Compact version, a bit more for the full size, not including ammo) - the weight reduces recoil greatly. The rotary barrel soaks up some recoil as well and reduces muzzle flip. The trigger is not bad at all in DA , but very nice in SA. These can be had for between $350 and $400 (I paid $379 for mine).
As for one with a light trigger all 'round (of the ones I've tried and like myself)....I'd say the Sig Sauer P250. It has about the lightest, most consistent trigger you'll find, other than a SAO (like a good 1911). It is DAO though, the trigger pull and reset are long, so it does take a bit of getting used to. (For a first gun, though, this should not be a problem, as you probably won't have a lot of habits to unlearn.) Recoil is not bad (though greater than the Stoeger)...and the gun can be had for between $350 and $400. It is also very reliable and easy to maintain.
For a first gun, I would skip the sub-compact or pocket-gun class. These would be much harder to learn to shoot (and would recoil much more).