In terms of manufacturers, it really depends on what the intended use is, but in my opinion, I prefer autoloaders over a revolver and like the Sigs, S&W makes the M&P line, Glocks and Beretta, HKs, Colts, Rem, Kahr, are great too. Most of these manufacturers make a 1911 model as well.
But if I were going to recommend anything to someone that is going to purchase their first firearm, I'd tell them to FIRST be sure of what the firearm is to be used for, then budget, then think about which firearm to buy. Once you know what the intended use is, it's important to shoot a variety of models. Find what you're comfortable with, what you're most proficient with and what's in your price range. And do your best to stick to a budget, shop hard you'll find a great deal!!
If you're interested in a Glock, I am helping a friend sell a Glock 19 (compact 9mm) gen 4, it's barely used. All set up with night sights, extended slide release and a trigger job.
PM me for details...
Last edited by drvsafe; 07-09-2012 at 10:07 PM.