check out the Springfield XD or XDm in 9mm or the Smith & Wesson M&P in 9mm. or even the CZ's in 9mm. really the best thing is to just go and start by looking at the gun stores and see what feels the best in your hand. the suggestions i made are pistols that fit me well and i would buy and would also recommend. but another brand could very well be a better fit for you than the ones i suggested. in your price range, there is no doubt you can a quality pistol that fits you well.
Yeah, size and weight are the two tennants I cannot ignore.. Full sized pistols are harder to conceal and it would seem to me more easy to leave at home than to tolerate any discomfort they may bring with them. Look to something like a Kahr PM9 or CW9, Ruger LC9, KelTec PF9, SR9c from Ruger... well... I guess there are a ton of options... I would look to a striker fired gun personally... I think in the area of size, though, thinness is more important than short... If there were a 1911 the thickness of say a Kahr CW9 I would choose that without batting an eyelash... Just think about the visibility the gun would create in your chosen mode of carry...
Take a look at the Walther ppq,it's right in your price range. It's almost the same size as a glock19 but will eat it for breakfast. Mines been flawless so far and has the best trigger on a polymer gun I've ever shot. great ergo's,great trigger,shoots even better. 15+1 capacity.
The XD or M&P are in your price range, both are reliable or the Ruger LC9, SR9. Go to the LGS and handle a few that you like, ask the counter guy what he thinks about them. Narrow down your options and post back here for reviews.
I have the Sig p238 and really want to see the 938. The Ruger SR9c weighs in at 28 oz with a full 10 round mag and one in the chamber. My wife and I have his and hers SR9c's. Something to consider is interchangeability. If it came down to one handgun apiece, it would be the SR9c's.
Ruger LC9 17 .0z 8 rounds better overall finish and trigger than the Kel-Tec.
Keep in mind cc its light thin easy to carry easy to conceal! About $350 anywhere and its made in the USA and its a Ruger!
I almost forgot and there is a neat little side mounted laser available that just blends right in!