By removing stopping power from the equation you fall right into the realm of the 9mm - low cost and mild recoil make for a fun round.
Don't discount the .22. Even more economical and just as fun. Especially advisable for newbies as it all but removes recoil from the firing equation and allows you to focus on mechanics. Even as you progress you'll find yourself going back to your .22 for high quality, low cost practice.
.44 Special: For those who get it, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, no explanation is possible.