If you're working on a budget I recommend the Ruger SR9c - Ruger SR9c 9mm Compact $407.00 SHIPS FREE - this pistol is a semi-automatic and its around $400, you couldn't ask for a better handgun at that price. Also the M&P Smith and Wesson Shield (which I crave) is also around $400 if you can find one...
Now my real recommendation is a Glock 9mm (17, 19, 26) - for $500 you have a high quality extremely reliable firearm.
Good luck choosing you really almost can't go wrong in todays market of pistols. Just do abit of research before choosing the gun for you!