Liana emails to point out a pretty interesting site, Find The Best which is putting up a firearms comparison analysis engine. A couple days ago I put up a bleg asking what .22 bolt action rifle is good for teaching newbies. That was an interesting test for the system, which lets you select a whole bunch of criteria to find what you're looking for.
Like I said, pretty interesting. I hadn't even known about this little rifle, and now I'm thinking of maybe getting it. Because what I did know was that I think I need a beginner's .22 rifle, and Find The Best helped me zero in on what I was looking for.
They have a decent set of search criteria to filter with. You could use this to pick a carry pistol, for example. They also have a neat feature showing all of the gun stores and FFLs near where I am. I didn't know that there were six within 5 miles. Heck, that's walking distance. The have a place for user reviews, although as a new site there aren't a lot. I might go through and put links to my range reports there.
I think that the site could be improved by questionnaire for new shooters where it asks a series of questions that can help set up filters. For example, how large are you (small/medium/large)? How mechanically inclined are you (a little/some/a lot)? What type of clothes do you typically wear (fitted/loose)? The idea is that a newbie won't know much about shooting but will know the answer to questions like these. Then the filters can provide a starting point. A good filter for a large, mechanically inclined man who wears baggy clothes could include a full sized 1911, for instance.
But this is nit picking. I spent rather a lot of time fooling around at Find The Best. Interesting place.