SV1000 is not a good starter bike. It's essentially the same, but with a much larger engine. The 650 is plenty for a starter, in fact a lot of people use it as more of a daily driver, since it's got -usable- power (buy a high-strung 4-cylinder bike and you'll figure out what the difference between power and usable power is).
Thanks-this seems to be the all around feedback I have been getting form anyone who rides, including those who have never owned one but have ridden one. Any feedback as to differences through model years, say 1999 and up? I'm looking to buy in at like $2000 to $3000.
'03 and up (2nd gen) have EFI (electronic fuel injection) and earlyer than '03 (1st gen) are carburated. Other than that it's the looks that may sway you. IMO, the 2nd gen are a little bit better (HP, brakes, weight, looks)