There are usually three main types of pistols for the most part shooters prefer as I see it. They are the DA/SA or DA only,service pistol,tupperware framed types(XDs,Glocks,P95s etc.),the DA/SA,SA or DA only all metal type(Beretta FS92/96 etc.,CZ 75 and variants,Sig 226/228,Taurus 92 copies etc.) and the SA,all metal Colt 1905/1911/Browning and variant types(Colt 1911,Star,Llama,STI,Browning HP,Springfield,Para Ord.,S&W the list goes on and on...).
I like them all to some degree and each has some attributes to contribute,but the ones I always go back to are the SA Colt 1911 style pistols. If you get a good one it is Heaven on earth and no other type of pistol combines the accuracy,ergonomics,pointability,solid feel,workmanship/quality,tr***** feel etc. that a high quality,all metal Browning designed pistol has....no other type period!
It's no wonder that for over 100 years these designs have stood the test of time and are still being used by some of the best trained,most elite combat troops/tactical teams,and best target shooters in the world. When it's all said and done and all the love affairs with departments experimenting with "the next big thing in pistols" is over the BEST always go back to what works and what works is the old stand by,timeless Browning designed or inspired pistols. Not that I'm bias or anything!
In the $500-700 price range there are many well made,medium priced pistols to choose from most of which have already been mentioned. If this is to be your first center fire pistol then a DA/SA or DA only service pistol would be a good choice.
Remember though quality instruction,range time and knowing your pistol inside and out is far more important than the actual name on the side or type of pistol it is. Never,ever look down your nose at the shooter in the next lane that may be shooting a ancient CZ52,T33,clapped out Llama or Hi-Point as that shooter may be very,very good and may have just decided they didn't want to play the "next big thing" game. Believe me,a Todd Jarrett,Bob Munden or a Angus Hobdell could send 99.99% of the shooters on any local range/shooting match home with their tail between their legs all the while shooting a lowly Hi-point .45! The the person behind the pistol is the true weapon. The brand/type of pistol they use is just their tool of choice.:boink
There's an old saying when speaking of firearms and it goes something like this..."Beware the man with one gun."
Here's a few sites that haven't been mentioned
CZFORUM.COM - Message Board - Yuku
Beretta Forum - Powered by vBulletin
HKPRO Forums - Powered by vBulletin
The Firing Line