I've been thinking about buying my first street bike, and looking around at various articles and forums about what make and model would be suitable for a new rider. So far, I've come up with two Suzuki models and a Kawasaki model.
1) The GS500F or older GS500E by Suzuki
2) The SV650 by Suzuki
3) The Ninja 250 by Kawasaki
Having a larger frame (over 6 feet), I've ruled out the smaller 250 Ninja simply due to size. That leaves me with the two Suzuki models. The SV would be a good choice but could be a bit too much power for a beginner. The GS is more tame, and also comes in full fairing models which I like.
I am going to continue to watch the used market to see when a good deal pops up. People seem to be rather fond of their motorcycles, pricing them far beyond what they are worth if going by KBB or NADA book values. I think I'll opt for the best deal I can find and a GS, preferably a GS500F, but I'll take the older one if a good bike at a fair price shows itself.