if you want an acoustic, for few hundred bucks most people recommend yamaha i have noticed.
a lot of people like used but for a few hundred, it might be hard to get a higher end brand like martin or taylor.
so i'd look into yamaha or seagull, they supposedly have the best value.
i'm a beginner too, but i have really crappy cheap beginner guitars. for my next one i will probably look into getting a seagull.
one tip i always hear is don't choose the guitar based on playability, since those can be adjusted to your tastes afterwards. what you need to base it on is the sound/tone and how comfortable the neck is. since that's hard for a beginner to judge, you might want to go check them out with someone who knows a bit about guitars.
also certain guitars are more suited for different playing styles, such as fingerstyle vs strumming. and there are different sizes, dreadnoughts are big and have the best sound, but many prefer something smaller like a concert or OO/OOO size.
read up on it on the web, like http://www.eltjohaselhoff.com/a_good_ac ... guitar.htm