I agree with a Ruger in 9mm. If you are planning on loaning to noobs you should introduce them to one of the more popular calibers that most would consider a "minimum" self protection round. To me the .32 is kinda an oddball caliber and the .380 is more expensive.
If you introduce them to the 9 and are able to teach them to shoot it proficiently then they will likely feel comfortable with it. That way when they go to buy their own they will be familiar and not intimidated by it.