The high capacity of the marlin is a blast to shoot!! I think the tube holds just under 20 rounds. Feels like you can just keep popping. The down side to a first gun being a semi-auto would be the cleaning. There are more moving parts, so more nooks and cranys to clean carbon out of. I've had my marlin for ......wow.... about 15 years now, and love it.
Also think about what you are going to want to do with the rifle in the future. If you ever plan on small game hunt with the gun, check your state laws to see what you can hunt with. Some states wont allow you to hunt with a semi-auto. I can't think of a state that bands lever guns though........ that will be pushed after inauguration.