Without knowing your personal situation and capabilities, I'll give you some generic advice:
First, what can you afford to spend? Is a 3500 dollar Ed Brown 1911 better than a 500 dollar Glock? I think so, but not if you don't have the 3500 bucks to spend.
What do you want to do with this handgun? Concealed carry, run-and-gun matches, hunting, bull's eye target shooting, hunting, all have different requirements
What fits your hand?
What caliber can you comfortably shoot?
Perhaps the main question, What do YOU like? It is after all, YOUR money.
For my purposes, self defense/lot's of range time/carry, I like full size auto pistols. I like either the 9mm or the .45 ACP cartridge. I have a (strictly personal) rule that I only carry combat-proven, military accepted pistols. Given all that, I carry either a 1911 .45, a Browning Hi-Power 9mm, or the Beretta 92FS 9mm.
For my students, I recommend .38 special/.357 revolvers, or 9mm or .45 pistols. In either case, buy the highest quality you can afford.
Glock, Colt, Beretta, Springfield, Kimber, all turn out some pretty decent pistols. Colt, S&W, and the 100/101 Ruger revolvers are all good to go.
Don't waste your money on a light rail, unless you intend to hang a light on the thing and clear rooms in the dark. Same-same the latest digital camo finish, unless you intend to go hide the thing in the woods.
If you apply the above questions to your choice, you should wind up with a handgun that will serve your purposes, and be pleasant enough to shoot that you won't mind spending time practicing and getting good with it.