The Tippmann Pro-AM or Pro-Lite
by Le Quenz
If you can find one, I recommend the Tippmann Pro-Am or the Tippmann Pro-Lite. They're durable and usually under $100, perfect for just starting or for recreational play.
About a year ago, I went paintballing for the first time with a group of friends for a birthday. I really didn't know what to expect, but from stories I heard from friends, I dressed how I saw fit. But I was lacking a gun. We went into the "shop" (it was really just farmland with a small paintball shop in a barn) and checked out the selection of markers. They had some spyders and a couple Tippmann 98Cs, and one other marker that just looked different. I chose that one because of said reason. When we finally got into out first game, I was impressed with how it handled. It had flawless shot placement and the sights were well designed and open. Also, the way the CO2 tank was attached provided an improve buttstock. I fell in love with the marker and looked it up online. After scouring ebay for days, one finally popped up for $45.
They are relatively rare, but are cheap, reliable markers. Today (6-16-2010) there is a used Pro-AM for $60 dollars. They don't pop up often.
The Pro-AM and the Pro-Lite are the same marker. The only difference is that the AM has a metal foregrip and the Lite has a (durable) plastic foregrip, making it "Lite."
The Pro-Carbine is a more customizable and a slightly more pricey version of the Pro-Am but is still just as durable.