+1 for the Ruger suggestions. There isn't anything pretty about them but they are durable, reliable, accurate and inexpensive. I can buy a new one at my local GS for $349. Used ones in the same shop are priced at $299.
I'd also look for an older Taurus, Ruger or S&W DA revolver just to show the differences and teach some revolver handling basics.
To a much greater extent than most mechanical devices, firearms are terribly unforgiving of any overconfidence, complacency or negligence.