I'm a big Spyderco fan. They're like the Baskin Robbins of knife makers. So many flavors! :-)
If I was to pick only one Spyderco, I'd go with either a Sage 1, Caly 3, or a Paramilitary 2.
My actual first "real knife" was the Caly 3 at the bottom of the 2nd photo.
Sage 1 (top) and Sage 2:
Caly 3 (new Damascus on top, standard on bottom)