Originally Posted by Jello78
What is the price range like?
$100 to $4,000. Or potentially more.
and what should i look for?
Guns that feel good in your hands. It's best to handle a lot of guns and decide what you like.
and stay away from?
Stuff that is too big or too small to fit in your hands, overpriced stuff (google search is your best friend here), and stuff that shoots very expensive ammo (some ammo is easier to come by than others)
The good: Smith and Wesson, Ruger, Rock Island Armory, Hi-Point (cheap and durable), Heckler and Koch (expensive but awesome), SIG Sauer (good and medium priced), Glock, and many others.
Smith and Wesson M&P series, Ruger SR series, anything RIA, Hi-Point C9 (the other Hi-Points are huge and shoot like bricks), HK USP models, just about any SIG Sauer, just about any Glock...
and whats the maintenance like?
depends on the gun. most modern pistols are very easy to break down. as far as actual cleaning, unless you are shooting more than 500 rounds per outing, no more than gun solvent and oil in the barrel, oil on the feedramp, and oil on the inside of the slide is really needed. Just don't treat your gun like the craftsman wrench in the bottom of your toolbox.
Also, search "how to field strip a ____" (insert name of gun here) on youtube, as well as "how to clean a pistol".