In my humble opinion, Arsenal Inc offers the best AK 47 for the money. If you can afford to get one with a milled receiver, that is the direction I would go. I own one and of all the firearms I own, it is my favorite. The only drawback right now is the availability of 7.62X39 ammo.
Of course you can get an SKS for about half to one third the cost of an Arsenal, and as a first gun (and possessing limited funds), the SKS is hard to beat. But again, the problem right now is the availability of 7.62x39 ammo.
Now, might be the time to get a good bolt action rifle, in a more traditional hunting round of .243, 22-250 or .270. Lots of rounds, in these three calibers, are available at all of my local sporting goods scores.