Classical Nylon String Acoustic Guitar of course:
The Classical Nylon String Guitar is styled on the origins of the guitar, and is still (all things considered eg. players technique etc.) the best sounding guitar available.
The steel string can be good, but ultimately it cannot beat the Nylon String for sound quality and character; especially for the ‘Fingerstyle’ Guitarist.
I’m not ‘pooh-poohing’ the steel string guitar completely. It has it’s place in certain styles of playing; and if someone comes to me as a student of ‘Fingerstyle’ Guitar, and wishes to learn on a steel string guitar, so be it: it’s their choice.
But if you really want to explore the great beauty and depths of sound, then go nylon. Nylon is also easier on the fingers: both left and right hand.
If you decide to go with nails on the right hand (and that’s really the way to go), then steel strings will cut them to pieces.
How much should you spend? If you spend $200 to $350 on your first guitar, you will (in this present day and age) be buying a reasonable sounding guitar, which is quite ‘playable’ (string ‘action’, tuners, etc.), and one that is perfect for the early stages of your development.
You can consider getting a guitar in the ‘classic’ style or in the ‘cut-away’ style: either will do at the start. You can even consider one with a pick-up that can be amplified (for those garden weddings).
As time goes by, and your playing demands a guitar of greater ‘character’ and refinement, then more money can be spent on a guitar that will most likely see you through to the end. $1,000 to $2,000 would purchase quite a fine instrument; around $10,000 and up will get you into the ‘concert’ instrument realm: not for everyone, but if you can afford it it will bring you great joy indeed.
Your cheaper guitar will then become a great ‘knock-about’ guitar: in the kitchen while the sausages are cooking (like our friend in the picture maybe) is a great time to play; in the lounge room in front of the TV during the commercials is fantastic for what I call “distracted practice”; or when you go out into the garden, or traveling, or camping maybe, and you don’t want to risk the ‘Guitar of Great Beauty’.
The ‘Guitar of Great Beauty’ will live in the practice room where the environment is controlled, and where the serious playing is done. It can be brought out for the ‘special occasions’: the performances etc.
Kind Regards to you all.