I wrote this last year to be of help for people in your situation:
Newbie to guns? Need help? Where to start?
Try reading that first, and follow some of the tips - The rental (or meeting up with people and trying their guns) is the best idea so U can find out what you like.
As I stated in my original post linked above - the are a variety of brands, and most are good. The price does vary - for instance, HKs are always expensive, but are great guns. U need not pay the price of an HK to get a good gun, though.
Beretta 92s are fantastic guns. Most of the complainst U hear about them are from people still pissed that the Beretta replaced the 1911 as the service pistol. And, since the military doesn't buy factory magazines (they use cheap aftermarket ones instead) - they sometimes have issues. But, a Beretta 92 with a factory mag will be 100% reliable. I've owned several 92s over the years, and I plan to probably buy a stainless one next month.
Now, there are certain guns and brands I won't buy - but we all have that list. Personally, I won't buy a Taurus, and I have my reasons. But U will have tons of Taurus fans here that will disagree with me.
U will also get tons of suggestions in posts below mine. And, everyone has their fav gun - they will recommend it to you (mine is the Walther P99 A/S). But, find what works for YOU!
Also, guns I thought were my fav 10 years ago are not my favs now. This will probably not be your only gun, if you get into handguns and enjoy shooting.