I have recently bought my first big bike, and having weighed up many contenders, I had it down to a Transalp and a SV650 - as second hand, I'd seen similar 6/7 year old examples for 2.5k. I had a Varadero 125, I thought the Transalp would be more of the same, and decided to go for the SV.
I am DELIGHTED with my choice!
The bike looks great, if you can get it with the optional full fairings - setting the look of a sports bike, without having to fork out the inevitable higher insurance premium. I picked up the bike it rotten weather, and with the potentially problematic new rubber on back & front. The bike did not miss a beat from slow tight corners, to long motorway sweeps - and all with loads of standing water. The bike has an engine that feels like it always has more should you need it, and on the public roads, you'll never be short on power and speed. The ride is comfortable, and I am planning long tours on the bike as the weather improves.
I highly recommend this bike to anyone who has passed their test, and is looking for an all-round bike which will provide fun and practicality. You will struggle to find anyone who has rode this bike who does not think that this is an excellent way of getting into motorcycling!