The main difference is that Taurus has a long history of erratic quality control. All manufacturers turn out some bad guns, straight off of the assembly line, but Taurus seems to let way too many of them get out the door and into the hands of unsuspecting buyers. I can't tell you what the scope of this problem is, because there are no statistics that compare the various manufacturers. But most gun store owners and proprietors will tell you that they have more returns on Taurus guns, by a wide margin.
Revolver vs semi-auto? Revolvers seem to be less mystifying to those who have no experience with guns and are not particularly interested in learning how they work. There are no significant advantages to them, provided the training is good and you practice a lot. Some women complain that the slide on a semi-auto is too hard for them to work, a necessary action to load the chamber on a semi-auto. In reality, there are very few adults that cannot manage it, given the correct technique and enough practice. Some semi-autos give increased capacity and faster reloads, but this may not be much of a factor for a new shooter.
In my opinion, a new shooter should choose whichever he/she wants and do a lot of shooting with it, and then swap it later on, if not pleased with it. If you shoot enough, you will be spending enough on ammo that whatever loss you take on swapping the first gun for the second will probably not be very significant.