I don't think you can go wrong with a Star bike. I'm surprised no one has chimed in yet - the Stryker owners seem to love them - and honestly, I've yet to hear anyone on the star forums who doesn't think they have a really great bike.
I loved my 650 when I was learning but I found it underpowered on the highway and haven't regretted my move up to the Roadstar a bit!
2003 Roadstar - "Princess"
2003 Ninja 500 R
2003 Vstar 650 Custom (sold)