vcpilot79, you mentioned some important criteria that needs to be considered before jumping into some of the guns listed; "first handgun", "cheap", "reliable", "have fun with"....
IMHO, based on your needs, I would say stay with a revolver (sometimes referred to as a "wheel-gun"). One hand operation (no need to "chamber" a round first), easy to use (just aim & pull the trigger), much more reliable than an automatic, and you can usually find a used Rossi or Taurus for $200 or less. In .38 special, they're potent as hell, fun to shoot and ammo is readily available.
Nothing against the guns that others have mentioned -- they're all great guns, without a doubt. But for a first gun, this is a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned -- stick with a revolver.