well, you can always convert the nitro
a micro will really hone those skills, and if you go in with the right attitude they're great. a lot of people get pissed off because they're fickle little critters, both in flying characteristics and in maintenance. You just don't get the same quality-per-dollar-spent that you do with a nitro. but if you go in knowing this, nobody's pulling the wool over your eyes.
so my thought is, if it's not going to be your last helicopter, get comfortable with a micro, being prepared to fight all its bugs and quirks and quality issues, overcome the additional instability it might have in flight, and then you'll go back to your nitro with much nimbler thumbs and a bunch more experience.
I offer a few of my opinions on different heli's from my limited knowledge from what I've experienced and / or read: Be warned, these are just my opinions, or my takes on what I've read and I'm not the most experienced person on here. If anybody has different opinions, go ahead & say them too
A zoom has a rep as a 3d micro that can handle the wind better than some of the other micro's. Maybe it's because it's slightly larger & heavier. Like the hornet 2, it's got a driven tail which some folks like to avoid because it means more things to break.
A hornet2, has a rep as having a good stock head and being a capable 3d machine out of the box, even more so with a couple of upgrades like ball-in-swash. I don't even consider going brushless an upgrade on that.... it's just part of the equipment selection.... I'm still getting the bugs out of mine, mainly stripping motor pinions, but I'm not having so much trouble with the tail or tail pinions that others are having. The hornet 2 supposidly has a much better tail than the original.
A hummingbird elite has a stronger undercariage than its predicessors. On the CP version, people complain about breaking parts easily. I haven't had this trouble yet because I haven't tried to take it appart and I haven't broken it in a crash. If you get a humminbird of any kind, i think most people are happier if they get separates. The stock tail on mine, and some other people's burned out almost right away, although this might be due to to running 3s lipos on a motor not meant for that much voltage. The FP V2, and maybe(?) the elite FP might be a little more durable, but less capable obiously. These are cheap heli's, and you've definitely got to lower your expectations approprietely.
the piccolo is said to be the original micro. piccolo's and a few hummingbird take-offs = similar class as hummingbirds, but that's like a ford versus chevy sort of a thing.... (IMHO) If you want CP, the piccolo pro is a more expensive option.
corona's are durable, and a bit larger, ..... you can fly them outside.... but (IMHO) they're not especially cheap for their FP capabilities. I'm assuming you want collective pitch?
ikarus eco 8's and 16's are a bit larger and CP, but I keep reading about people talking about them as a starting places to upgrade away from. i.e. i get the idea they aren't very capable for their size or price? not sure.
logo 10's seem to be really nice, but cost more. one thing i think about is affording batteries for bigger helicopters.... converting a nitro to me sounds like a fortune in batteries. a logo 10, is considerably smaller than a 30 size, but a lot bigger than a micro. you get into more higher end logo's and you start talking about more money than i want to think about.
there are the other's like voyager and robbe models, but i don't know too much about them.