Especially if you’re in an economic position such that you’re not scared of the possibility of “needing” a bigger bike later on, I highly recommend the Ninja 250. I know there aren’t any in your area, but there weren’t in mine either. I had to get on a waiting list for a painful three months before mine showed up. There’s no point looking at used bikes (at least not 2008s) as they are in such high demand that used prices are not only no lower than new bike prices, but they are actually over MSRP! Same price and no warranty. Lame.
It’s a sweet-looking bike which, to anybody who doesn’t ride “real” sportsbikes, is indistinguishable from its big-bore buddies. It’s nimble as hell, and perfect for driving around on lower-speed rides. Having a 250 as your first bike will act as a natural speed regulator, and will prevent a lot of the accidents I would have had if I’d jumped onto a super-sport right away. It’ll also give you a lot more practice shifting and holding speed through turns.
Another recommendation I have is that you take additional rider courses if you can afford them. One thing that helped me feel at home on my first bike was to take an additional rider training session once or twice between MSF and when I actually bought my bike. By the time I had purchased the bike, I was more than comfortable on a 250, and had all of those initially impossible bike skills (low-speed, low-radius turning, for instance) down. If you have a friend that has a non-lethal bike and is willing to supervise you doing some exercises in a big parking lot, that might work as well, but just try to get as many hours as possible on a bike before you get your own.