.45 cal pistol.
Go to a range that rents guns out so you can shoot it before you buy it. When we were looking for a 9mm for my wife she got to shoot several including the P226 Sig. She really liked it, but then she shot a 9mm CZ and she liked that even better! The CZ is less expensive than the Sig by a lot and she liked it more. The CZ doesn't get the recognition because it says Czech on the side instead of Austria. So, if you get the opportunity, shoot them first and listen less to other peoples favorites.
Good luck in your choice!
Ruger makes the SR45 that comes with the safety. Trigger and feel isn't as nice as the Smith, but it's a cheaper alternative.