Ihaven't heard anythingbad regardng the Beretta other than its looks. If you like the looks then that is a gun worth considering. I prefer the Buckmark and don't find the take down too onerous compared tosome other guns in my safe. The Smith & Wesson 22A isn't a bad gun either considering its price. The Ruger 22/45 would also be a good choice.
As for targets, I shoot a lot of paper ones and have several spinners, dingers, and resetting versions. They all have their place with the metal ones being the most active. Mine all recommend the shooter to be at least 20 yards away though I do stand closer with some. Targets of opportunity like sticks, dirt clods, grasshoppers, etc. are also favorites but one needs a fair amount of space and/or a good backstop to safely shoot these. I use all types of bullets with mine, solid lead, hollow points, and full metal jackets all seem to work the same. Some brands of lead bullets have a lubricant that may necessitate more frequent cleaning as they can gum up the chamber but it does take quite a few rounds to reach this point.
The factory sights would be best to start with. They are likely much better than you are and by the time they are the weak link you will have enough experience to determine what new sighting system is best for you. It is also good to know how to readily use the irons in the event something happens to whatever optical sight you choose. If you are set on getting an optical sight, a red dot or one of the holographic ones would be much better than a scope. Scopes have a tendency to magnify one's shakes and jitters which do not help build confidence.
Hope this helps.