Hello from Michigan as well.
I'd probably start out with a class. Unless you get lucky (like me) and have an expert competition shooter showing you the way. I started out with a 22. (back in March....my first gun) and have already moved up to a 1911 .45ACP. I've heard all the arguments about starting out with a .22 and I do think it was a smart way to start. No intimidation factor and you can really focus on the fundamentals of shooting a handgun. That being said if you take it slow and have good instruction I see no reason for not starting out with a larger caliber. I know I could have done it. You will just have to be more cautious about not picking up a flinch.
As far as what works for you......go to a big range that rents handguns and try some different models.....but don't do it alone. Find someone who knows how to shoot and take them with you.