Good idea or bad one? I'm looking for something to get me into the world of pistols. How much could I expect to pay for a new one? I've also read that earlier editions had some sort of jamming malfunction, anything else to look at for?
Price will definitely depend on the area you happen ti live in. Here in Austin, TX a P22 can be had for around $240. probably less if I was to do some more digging. As for appropriate, that will depend on your intended application and possibly even firearms experience. If this is your first gun then a 22 is a good choice. If its your first handgun, and you have little to no intention of using it for personal defense, a 22 is a good choice. If you have some intention of using this for personal defense, even if its your first gun, there are better choices out there.
Many people recommend a 22 for a first gun, but as said above - if you eventually want to have it for self defense, I think U should buy a 9mm. While this is a Walther sight, U can get some good 9mms for not too much money - Ruger makes some, Taurus 92, CZ has several 9mms. Beware some of the off brands, though. And, of course, the P99 is great if you can find one of the P99s with the A/S trigger style (they are no longer imported and only come in the QA now).
To be honest, while I hear some good things about the P22, I have also heard a lot of neg stuff. And, from what I understand, it's not as accurate as some of the other 22s out there that are more of a target gun. It's probably a "fun" gun to shoot, but not much of a bulls eye 22.
The P22 is a good "fun" gun, not a target gun. It is pretty small and can help you practice for CHEAP.
HOWEVER, if you're anything like me, after I got my first gun, I wanted another, and another, and another.....
Soooo, I'd say go with a 9mm and that way you won't necessarily have to spend money on another gun as soon because the 9mm allows relatively cheap practice, yet can pack a decent punch with any of the good hollopoint loads available; thus a two-role gun (range and protection).
Why not look at a Springfield XD Service model. That pistol line never ceases to amaze me. My wife has the subcompact. They aren't terribly expensive, and it's a good pointer and shooter. It has a simple operating system (grab gun, pull trigger to fire, don't pull trigger not to fire) that will teach good trigger finger discipline. Good luck, and be safe.