Do you think you might actually come to enjoy shooting as a hobby, or do you just want something to keep in your nightstand and forget about until a rainy day?
If you don't really care about guns and just want something simple but effective, get a full sized revolver like a GP100. Revolvers are stupidly simple to use, very reliable, require less preventative maintenance, and have less of a chance to malfunction. It doesn't care if you limpwrist, it doesn't care if you teacup, you don't have to worry about buying magazines or what brand of magazines to buy. .38 Special in a full sized revolver has very light recoil for practicing, and acceptable ballistics for defense if you feel inclined to use it. Or you can just use .38 to practice and keep it loaded with .357 to spatter someones brains across the room. Of course, the downsides are limited capacity and less aftermarket customization, but if you don't really care about guns than you wouldn't be customizing your gun or practicing tacticool drills against 16 opponents anyway.
If you see yourself actually getting into guns, you might want to consider getting a full sized semi-auto like a Beretta, Glock, CZ, or M&P. You get a lot more capacity and aftermarket support from semi-autos, but at the price of increased complexity. You'll have to worry about limpwristing, SA/DA, safeties, one in the chamber, how to clear malfunctions, buying decent magazines, properly oiling it, etc. You can get a lot more "milage" out of most semi-autos than you can with revolvers, IF you are ready and willing to invest the time to train with them.
I'd say avoid compacts and subcompacts. If your goal is home defense, there is no point in limiting your capacity and worsening your ergonomics by getting a small handgun. Personally, I still think the shotgun is the king of home defense, but that's just my opinion.