Hello and welcome to the forums - thanks for joining
As to which phone is best, it is a difficult question to answer. Each person will tell you that their phone is the best (and then give you reasons why).
I would say, get as much Android as you can afford. I recently had to help my mother in law with her phone... it is a budget Android phone and I was amazed at the difference between her phone and mine. The higher end devices give you a completely different experience to the lower end ones.
My advice would I'd scour the internet and find 2/3 different phones in your price bracket/on the right network for you and then try get to a shop to get some hands on time with the phone... you can then really appreciate what the phones are like (my wife has a Samsung Galaxy S and I think that it feels a little plasticy to me in comparison to my Desire HD).
Once you've decided on which phone you think is right for you (whether that be before or after you have been able to get some hands on time with the devices), you can then check out the different sub-forums on here (there is one for each phone) and get a bit of an opinion on the phone from other users.
Hope you manage to make the right choice for you and, once you have got your phone, be sure to come back and check in to the sub-forum for the phone with other users... they will help you get the best out of your phone