I'm in process of acquiring my first weapon as well, and I echo what has already been said here.
One: From what I've learned through none-too-slight research (and from my limited physical experience) the general rule of airsoft is "You get what you pay for." If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. I just spent $250 on a gun (from a brand that supposedly great for their GBBs), and it died in under 50 rounds. It's been through two reputable gun techs as well, and the problem still remains. In other words, even spending hundreds will not guarantee you a good, reliable gun. You have to do your homework (in addition to emptying your wallet in most cases, unfortunately.)
Two: Strongly advised that you don't purchase a sniper rifle for your first game gun. To use it effectively requires different tactics, different gear, and often (I have seen this happen) people get bored with the whole process very quickly and let it fall to the wayside. For a beginner, I personally think going to casual scrims with a decent AEG would be more enjoyable.
I second Strelok as well -If you're just in for target shooting, you can probably find another air rifle (ie. pellet gun) that's superior, both in price and accuracy. Just don't go shooting your friends with it.
Always expect the worst. That way, you're never disappointed.