i think that most here will agree with me on suggesting the 9mm. it has defensive qualities and is easy on the buget allowing you to afford more range time. the exact model will ultimatly depend on what works in your hands. i prefer the beretta 92FS, but there are many other good brands as well: glocks, springfield XD's, sig sauer, heckler&koch, and i best not forget walther P99. there are plenty of other decent manufacturers as well. go to the store and see what fits your hands.