I agree that a new or entry level gun owner buy a simple robust .357magnum or .38spl +P. A DA only SP101 or a Ruger LCR could do well. You can add a custom XS front sight & get a CT lasergrip; www.crimsontrace.com
If you really want a pistol, get a hammer fired DA only model like the new Walther PPX, the HK P30 or P2000 LEM, the S&W SD9 or SD40, or the SIG Sauer P229R/P226R DAK in 9x19mm, .40s&w, .357sig.
A DA only model is safe & you can learn the basics.