Since you seem to be really pretty open about what you want, except price, you might check out Ruger. I can't address other calibers, but their 9 mms are reliable they are accurate, rugged, and fall well under your $500 price range.
You can get more info than you want at the Rugerforum.com forum. They will discuss both positives and negative, but of course most of those folks are died in the wool Ruger enthusiasts.
I've already put over 1,000 rounds through my Ruger P89 with no failures. When I was test firing to make up MY mind, I had one failure on the Glock, and I shot less accurately with the Glock than I did with the Ruger. Down side? The Glock had more recoil than the Ruger. Which I thought of as a plus, since I wanted my wife to be able to fire the gun.
Never argue with drunks or crazy people.