Hi Ascentius, I'm very close to your size so I thought I'd throw in my
Those amazing little 600cc supersports that you are probably drooling all over... are just that: (1) Amazing
as in scary fast -- usually not a good choice for the new rider. And (2), little
as in not meant for big guys like us.
I've had the pleasure of riding my brother in-law's Suzuki GSX-R600. Awesome sportbike. Obscene power, razor-sharp handling... and oh yeah, after riding it I felt like my spinal cord was going to pop right out of my back!
I'll go along with the SV650 recommendation from TGuns and Vash. Higher bars and lower pegs means you won't be visiting the chiropractor on a regular basis. And as Vash said, 60-70hp is plenty for a new rider... the triple-digit horsepower and feather-like weight of modern 600cc supersports and liter-bikes will get you into a world of trouble if you're just starting out.
I personally haven't ridden an SV650 (I've ridden the V-Strom which is close). The SV650 gets stellar marks from all of the major motorcycling magazines. In fact, I don't recall seeing anything negative about the SV650. Personally, I'd go for the SV650S
model... sweet looks and you can always get a lower fairing for it later.
The Katana 600 and 750 are also very nice. Solid performance and comfy ergos for us big and tall types.
Warning: blatantly biased opinions ahead
Finally, you might want to add an older ('94-'01) Honda VFR to your short list. My '97 750 makes plenty of power and is a blast in the twisties. And the bonus is that it has a relaxed riding position so I can enjoy it all day long. In '98 the VFR went to 800cc and fuel injection. The '98-'01 models are excellent as well.
In '02, a VTEC engine was introduced -- some folks love it, others hate it. Seems a little gimmicky to me (for a motorcycle that is; I loved my VTEC-powered Integra).
I hope that helped a little. Kudos on your decision to take the MSF course -- you won't regret it.
Cheers and safe riding,