Lots of valid points in this thread. Ammo is also a huge consideration, as well as how soon you will "outgrow" it when making a purchase.
When I start somebody out in shooting, with MY guns, they either start with a 6" revolver which is the easiest thing to hit the paper with and build confidence, and very simple to understand how it works, how to use it, and where the rounds are located at a given time. I start with either the .22 or the GP100 with light loaded .38s, depending on how timid they are. Its much easier to work on sighting and trigger pull BEFORE introducing the flinch factor. Its a great confidence builder. Yes, eventually we on to the 39 S&W in 9mm, but I have yet to see a beginner who does not prefer the 6" revolver.
If its not a carry gun, and is for target shooting, and possibly later hunting I usally recommend a 6" DA .357 revolver as first gun if they are comfortable with it. Easy to understand, easy to sight, and very mild to and inexpensive to shoot with .38s, and the potential for future growth to full power .357 Mag rounds as a short range deer slayer. I do know you don't have the options in Canda that we have here, but if there is any way to actually fire some of your interests before purchasing, that is always a recommendation.