I am sort of in the same boat as you....getting back in the shooting sport after a long break (30 years).
Best thing to do is to look in the local yellow pages for the nearest shooting range that offers beginner's training classes. The training will get you started safely. Also when checking out the ranges you should be able to find one that will rent different types of firearms for so much an hour so you can try out different revolvers and automatic handguns before you spend money on one.
The classes will explain all the good and bad points of each type. Alot will depend on what you want the weapon for, target shooting, self defense, hunting, etc........Also there is alot of information on the internet about anything that has to do with firearms, just need to look around. hope this helps