Well, you probably won't like my advice, but my suggestion for a first handgun would be a good .22. Since you like auto pistols, firms like Smith & Wesson, Browning and Ruger all offer nice .22 auto pistols at reasonable cost. I'm a little chary of the Rugers only because they are hard as hell to strip and reassemble, my friends tell (I've never owned one). The advantages of a .22 are that you can master the fundamentals without the distractions of recoil and muzzle blast, and you can do a helluva lot of shooting at minimal cost.
Some people here may try to talk you out of the Beretta 92. I won't. Like any gun, they have their good points and weaknesses. I don't believe there is any more reliable auto pistol made than the Beretta. Those I've tried have been very accurate. The trigger action of the Beretta is usually quite decent. Overall quality control is high. It is one of the easiest auto pistols to field strip and reassemble. I certainly could live very happily and feel well defended against the powers of evil with one of the Beretta 92 variants as my primary defensive sidearm.
Downside to the Beretta 92. It is bulky for the power it delivers and is consequently not an easy pistol to carry concealed--concealed well, anyway. It also is somewhat wanting in durability compared to competitive pistols. I have heard this at several shooting ranges. In general, it is good for about 10,000 rounds, then it kind of comes apart like the one-horse shay! This may or may not be an issue depending on how much shooting you intend to do.
Some may bad mouth its 9mm Parabellum chambering or the fact that it is a double-action. I think with well-selected loads, the 9mm P can be an excellent defense cartridge. Nor is the double-action trigger system a great handicap, provided the pistol is a decent fit in your hand and the reach to engage the uncocked trigger with the distal joint of your trigger finger is not too long and awkward.
I have owned and tested too many good guns of all types--revolvers, single-action auto pistols, double-action autos, DA-only autos--and a tried fair number of clunkers as well to have a strong preference for any one type. As long as a gun is well-made, accurate and reliable and it fits my hand well, it will suit me fine. I am reminded of the great samurai swordfighter Musashi Miyamoto's dictum to the effect that one should not have a favorite weapon.