ok last two post are both good points. But the one about the looks of the bikes is the biggest factor in bike selection. I think a ton of guys get into the sport because of the looks of the bikes. Not the idea of flying arond at 180mph. (Of course, with the ability comes the urge) Having girls sitting on the back, riding with the crew, etc. is what the intial urge is about not a track. And we are guys after all (most at least) and to have a 250 or a 500, the mockery would be too much to bear. I know you guys will say no its cool they are learning but not everyone is so enlightened, not in the areas I lived (Louiville, KY - Dallas, TX - Sarasota, FL) Its like wanting a RX-8 and getting a Chevy Aveo. The RX-8 could kill you but i wouldnt want to be caught in an Aveo. I know we shouldnt be so shallow but in a way we all are.
The other thing about the ninja 500 I rode is it scared the poop out of me on the high way. Cars would go buy and the turbulance would seem to want to throw the bike off the rode. I cant imagine a 250.
In the end I am not saying a FNG should go by a liter bike but give the guys a break who buy or are looking for 600's as their first bike. Tis all