I had a Beretta 8045 Cougar and it was a great pistol. Most definitely take a look at the Beretta or Stoeger if you can find one. They have a rotating barrel which is interesting. I found recoil a bit more snappy than in a 1911 type of pistol, but not uncomfortable. The ergonomics were excellent.
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. ― Samuel Adams