+1 on the SV650 for a starter bike. It is inexpensive, parts are plentiful, there is not a lot of expensive bodywork to replace if (when) you drop it, and it is an easy, forgiving bike to ride. Years 2003+ are fuel injected. You can tell which ones are 2003+ models because the frame has a square tube look rather than a round tube look.
There is a LOT of good SV650 information here www.svrider.com
The SV650 has enough power and a very even power delivery. A 600 I4 like a ZX6R, R6, CBR600, GSXR600 is a more focused bike with a peaky power curve and demands more of your attention. Therefore with an SV you can more easily get your head out of the bike and concentrate on what is going on around you. This is very important.
Definitely take the riding schools, good idea. Buy good gear, full protection, head to toe. Snell rated helmet, Sidi armored boots or something like that, leathers with body armor, and good gauntlet-style gloves with armor. In the 15 years I have been riding/racing I've been down three times, including a recent highside, and walked away from all of them with nothing broken. Gear, gear gear! Get good gear! A good friend of mine was hit by a car (not his fault) while riding to work. His bike was totalled. He ended up in the hospital with a concussion but was released the same day. He is fine now, nothing broken, and is back at work only a few days later. He was wearing a helmet, gloves, boots, and leathers. His helmet, a good Snell rated Shoei X-11, definitely saved his life.
Background: I race the SV650 race bike I have in my garage. I also race a ZX636 and have also raced a GSXR1000. I have also owned a CBR600 F2, a ZX-9R, and a DRZ400S dual-sport. The DRZ was fun but I would not want it for highway commuting.