Given that opinions are like noses and everybody has one, I will stick my neck out a bit. Chains are much better than they used to be, in terms of lasting longer. However, chain tension is important and a rider with a chain drive needs to check that tension on a regular basis. With shaft, one only has to get regular service, more like the 3000 mile check up on an automobile. A bit of power is lost in making those drive train turns, getting power to the rear wheel via shaft. This is not true with the chain, so two motorcycles having the same engine, but one has chain and the other has shaft drive, will see the chain driven bike delivering a bit more power to the rear wheel. Is this important? That answer is up to the individual rider. For me, less maintenance is important and I will accept the slight loss of power that a shaft drive brings me.
Honda vs. Suzuki?? I do not want to get into any spitting contest. Hondas make fine motorcycles and thousands of happy riders are out there on Hondas. The same can be said for Suzuki. Many riders develop brand prejudice, just as do drivers of Fords and Chevies. If you find what really does it for you in Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki or Harley Davidson, go for it and you most likely will not go wrong. All the major motorcycle makers are competing for their share of the market. Each one takes from the other that which is working and selling. In the 1960s, Japanese ad propaganda was indicating that the V-Twin was old, dying technology, whose days were numbered. In those days, the Japanese were putting in-line fours and even in-line sixes on the market. Now, 40 years later, nearly every Japanese motorcycle manufacturer is touting their V-Twin models! Why is this? IMO, it is because HD would not go away and the Harley mystique continued to grow. The only way that the Japanese motorcycle makers could win against HD, was to create models that looked and sounded like Harleys!! For individual riders to go with market trends is not always good for the rider. Try various bikes and go with what you like and what works for you, given your riding agenda. Do not be spooked into buying a bigger bike then you want, just because the salesperson says that they are now selling more big bikes and that only girls are riding bikes under 1000cc. That is simply not so and does not make good sense. This, especially for new riders, no matter how big their muscles.
If I were starting out in motorcycling today, as a young man, I'd go into the used market and buy an inexpensive, used bike that I'd test ridden, had inspected and liked. That used bike will put you on the road. After riding and doing things like attending rallies and meets, your skills will be improving at the same rate as your knowledge of What's What! You may outgrow that used bike, or you may learn to love it and keep it. Either way, the initial investment is not great and you will be in a great position to get the bike of your dreams later on. Wedding yourself to a new bike before you are certain of what you want may prove to be an expensive mistake.