Re: first handgun purchase.
Bull, I would suggest going with a glock 9mm. If your experience with pistols is limited, the glock will suit you well. They are simple to function, maintain, and will take a ton of abuse and function reliably. Go with a compact or sub-compact version and you should be able to conceal carry if you choose to get a LTCF.
Whatever you do purchase, practice, practice, practice, so you are confident in your abilities and know the capabilities of the firearm. After your first purchase be ready to start research on the next purchase because you will want more!