I assume money is scarce, so I believe a Taurus PT92FS will be your best choice. It is identical to a Beretta, a licensed copy, and you can get for a lot less. Here in Houston the Berettas go for $600 and in the same Academy store they were selling the Taurus for $328 guess which one were selling.
If money is not tight then you can really indulge yourself to a 1911 in 9mm. I call the 1911s the "belle of the ball" and the sky is the limit.
Regarding the DA/SA argument, most people prefer single action, but as soon as I say that some DA dork will opine to the opposite. I have both, one DA and 6 SA, YMMV.
Find a friend that can show you the difference, or go hang around a shooting range and if you compliment somebody on their gun they will generally tell you all about it and then let you try it out. Trust me, gun people love to show off their toys to admirers.
Experience is a very bad teacher because it first gives you the test and then teaches you the lesson.
Last edited by Eppie; November 25, 2012 at 07:37 PM.