You can also start talking to the guys next to you at the range. I've noticed how friendly everyone is at my range. During a cease-fire to change out targets, I noticed a Kimber 1911 with a Crimson Trace on it. I asked the guy about it, and he started talking away.
When live fire was called after everyone put up new targets, he asked me if I wanted to shoot a few rounds through it. It was nice and shot better than my Rock Island 1911 (which you'd expect a gun at three times the price would).
So, go to some shops, and go to the range, and don't buy until you find one that feels "right". As long as all the guns you look at are considered reliable, they will ALL do what they are meant to do (fire a small piece of metal at a high velocity towards your target). At that point, it just comes down to what feels right in your hands (cocking, loading, aiming, etc).